When Duke makes a rare effort to recruit a player from Georgia, is it a foregone conclusion that the Blue Devils will get their man?
That’s the discussion following around Tony Parker, the 6-foot-9, 270-pound power forward from Miller Grove High School who made an official visit to Duke this past weekend.
Parker, who is ranked among the nation’s top 25 college basketball prospects, is considering Duke, Ohio State, UCLA and Memphis.
People want to know: Could Coach K really make an all-out effort to recruit a Georgia player and not succeed?
Parker has heard the talk. “Everybody has their opinions,” Parker said with a laugh. “It’s makes for some great buzz in the barbershop.”
For the record, Parker said he doesn’t have a leader among his finalists. “I don’t have a favorite. Hopefully, I will get one soon.”
Parker is also unsure if he will sign in the early period: “I don’t know; I have to sit down and talk with my parents some more. I hope to figure it out soon.”
What about his visit to Duke? His player host was Duke guard Quinn Cook, who played with Parker on the USA National basketball team. “We’ve known each other for awhile, and roomed together on Team USA,” Parker said. “It was good being around each other again and having fun.”
Coach K wants Parker really bad. So bad that he has been to Miller Grove three times to check on Parker, including the morning after Parker returned from his official visit to UCLA.
“He told me he hasn’t had a player like me at power forward in a long time,” Parker said. “They could really use me there.”
Duke recruiting targets in Georgia are far and few in between. Only nine players from Georgia have ever played for the ACC powerhouse. The last big-time recruit of Georgia to sign with Duke was former Westside-Augusta star William Avery in 1998.
Why does Coach K want Parker so badly? Here’s what he told Miller Grove’s coach: “They think Tony can come to Duke and make something happen right away. They are expecting to lose a couple of their big guys after this upcoming season. And with the guys they will have left, Tony’s game will be a little different, which bodes well for Tony. Duke is looking for Tony to be in the mold of an Elton Brand and Carlos Boozer when they played at Duke. Tony’s fit would be similar to their fit to the Duke teams they were on, and they think Tony may bring a little more to the table.”
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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