A week from Thursday (today or tomorrow depending on when you read this) Jabari Parker the No. 1…err No. 2 prospect in the class of 2013 will make his decision on colleges.
As of today he is down to Michigan State, Duke, BYU, Florida and Stanford, I think. I’m not entirely sure because I’m not a recruiting
guru and tend not to get all that excited about rumors and the wondering opinions of 16-18 year old kids. They tend to change their mind too much and are too unpredictable to be reliably make any judgments on their college choices especially when it isn’t clear cut.
Things aren’t clear cut when it comes to Parker. Many Duke fans are reluctant, and that may be an understatment, to get excited about him. After Harrison Barnes Skyped the hope out of Duke back in 2009, a lot of Blue Devils fans I know have sworn off getting to wrapped up in recruiting, the hope then loss is too painful.
I’ve always been one to value the importance of recruiting but never could manage to motivate myself to keep up with it since it is always changing and is just so unpredictable. It use to be a kid would go to the college he liked the best or the coach he liked the best and trusted the most, but these days there are so many ins and outs to it that it is almost impossible for someone with my attention span to keep up.
And recruiting for lack of a better term is nasty business. Players and parents and coaches have ulterior motivates and there is so much money and pressure in the mix that it is like watching a soap opera or some carnival side show. Just think back to the 45 minute love fest that current UCLA forward Tony Parker had prior to his announcement last year, who wants to sit through that with ADHD?
But back to Jabari Parker’s decision. I’ve heard the rumors I’ve seen the inside links that Parker may be leaning this way or that, but really I don’t believe anyone but the Parkers know where he is going. I do, however, have a feeling he could choose Duke.
I’m not a recruiting insider, so I can’t give you some knowledge that the average person who reads the occassional recruiting stories doesn’t already know. For me it is just a feeling. Parker and his family have been high on Duke and Duke clearly offers everything that Parker claims to want a school with a strong academic culture that at the same time foster a basketball career that is perhaps only a year or two away from leading him to millions.
I don’t know Parker but everything I’ve read about him, and certainly his college choices would indicate, he is sincere about wanting to go to a school that has strong academics and strong basketball. Duke meets all those criteria and they have the added incentive of having Mike Krzyzewski as the coach.
There are certainly no guarantees but some are saying that it could come down to Duke and Michigan State, and with all due respect to Tom Izzo and the Spartans, they may be closer to home for the Chicago native, but Duke right now is a better program. Still he can’t go wrong with either choice.
Some of the more reluctant Duke fans feel that Duke’s current small forward situation, which is likely to feature Rodney Hood who is sitting out this season after transferring from Mississippi State, and incoming freshman Semi Ojeleye, might keep Parker away, but I don’t think he is the player that would be detered by competition and Krzyzewski is certainly a coach that is going to pin on player to one position.
If Parker comes, expect him to have to earn his time and if he does he will play.
For now I wait like the rest of you reading this are, and wondering if Parker will pull the trigger for Duke or elsewhere. As always in recruiting, anything is possible, but I feel good about Duke’s chances though I will guarantee nothing.
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