Chandler Parsons is a second year small forward for the Houston Rockets out of the University of Florida. Resigned to the bench last season, he's getting his share of minutes as a starter this season with the departure of Luis Scola, Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin, Samuel Dalambert and Goran Dragic. He has had a few flashes of brilliance so far such as setting a new career high in points...twice. This has certainly given notice to the league that he is a very talented player who is looking to make the most of his opportunity in Houston.
Parsons is from Casselberry, Florida. He went to high school with fellow former Gator Nick Calathes, who now plays in Greece for the Lokomotiv Kuban of the PBL. While at Lake Howell High in Winter Park, the two of them carried the team to four straight final fours in the state playoffs, winning the 5A Championship in 2007. Parsons snagged MVP honors after scoring thirty points with ten rebounds, and was a first team all state selection for the season.
Committing to Florida following his high school career, Parsons started all thirty six games in his freshman season, averaging 8.1 points but the Gators did not make it into the NCAA tournament. By the time he was a junior he was averaging 12.4 points per game, almost 7 rebounds and made it into the tournament, but were dispatched by the BYU Cougars promptly. His scoring dipped by a point the next year, but the team managed to have the best regular season record in the SEC. By his senior season, the Gators made it to the tournament for a second straight year, and Chandler received SEC Player of the Year honors, while going deep into the tournament but losing in an upset to the eighth seeded Butler in the Elite Eight.
Since last season, Parsons has seen his statistics jump in every major category. He's started all of the thirteen games so far, while his points per game, minutes, field goal percentage, three point percentage, rebounds and assists have all improved. He recorded a new career high with 25 points on November 12th in a loss to the defending champion, the Miami Heat. Then against the Lakers he scored 24 in another loss.
The team finally managed to break through on their way to a win against the Knicks last night, 131-103.Parsons shot 13-17 from the field, while going 4-7 from downtown. This is where he is added or traded for in numerous fantasy leagues, as his minutes are not threatened by anyone off the bench. He is the flavor of the week, a little known secret that is now well known after his game against an 8-3 Knicks squad.
He's part of the youth movement in Houston, an afterthought of a team that is rebuilding. Playing with Jeremy Lin and James Harden can only help Parsons get better as well as with the young Asik at center. The bench is anchored by the long, sharp shooting Marcus Morris, the fundamental worker Patrick Patterson, speedster Toney Douglas and veteran shooter Carlos Delfino (injured at the moment.) Maybe Rockets GM Daryl Morey knew what he was doing all along.
If you didn't know, now you know. Chandler Parsons is looking to make his mark in the league, one game at a time, as well as help his team squeak into the playoffs.