Boyhood dreams became realities for a pair of Florida Gators on Thursday as both forward Chandler Parsons and center Vernon Macklin were selected in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft.
Though he was hoping to be picked a round earlier, Parsons was excited and emotional when the Houston Rockets chose him with the No. 38 overall selection. Having logged thousands of miles working out for more than of the NBA's teams, he previously noted that Houston's workout was one of the most grueling and physically demanding.
Parsons, the 2011 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, averaged 11.3 points per game as a senior and led Florida in both rebounds (7.8) and assists (3.7) last season. A team leader who is praised for his size, athleticism and basketball IQ, he shot 48 percent from the field, 36.8 percent from three and 55.7 from the charity stripe in 2011.
Seeing his teammate and friend get drafted, Macklin did not have to wait much longer to share a similar fate. Just 14 slots later, he was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the No. 52 overall pick.
Macklin, who transferred from Georgetown and was forced to sit out a season, has a huge upside due to his pure strength and ability to score in the post. However, scouts and NBA general managers have informed him that he needs to work on his aggressiveness and rebounding.
He averaged 11.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last year and upped his field goal percentage to .593 due in part to his consistent hook shot.
Forward Alex Tyus, the third senior eligible to be selected, was not chosen on Thursday. He will become an undrafted free agent but will have to wait until the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement is settled before a team can sign him. Other options for Tyus include playing overseas or in the NBA Developmental League.
It is the fourth time in school history that the University of Florida has had at least two players selected in the NBA Draft in the same year (1984, 2000, 2007). Parsons and Macklin, the 32nd and 33rd players chosen out of Florida all-time, are the first Gators to ever be picked by their respective teams.