Georgia’s top two basketball prospects are likely to sign late

Tony Parker has Duke, Ohio State, UCLA and Memphis as his finalists (AJC)

Tony Parker has Duke, Ohio State, UCLA and Memphis as his finalists (AJC)

Georgia’s top two basketball prospects need a little more time.

College basketball’s early signing period ends on Wednesday, and Miller Grove High School power forward Tony Parker told the AJC that he is “almost positive” that he will wait until at least the middle of the season to make his highly-anticipated decision between Duke, Ohio State, UCLA and Memphis. The late signing period begins in April.

Meanwhile, Southwest DeKalb power forward Shaq Goodwin committed to Memphis last week but will delay signing until April to “consider his options.” The 6-foot-8, 240-pound Goodwin also made an official visit to UCLA last month, and has UGA, Florida and Arizona in his top five. He will likely take at least two more recruiting trips, and even make an unofficial visit to Memphis again.

Parker, Goodwin and Shiloh power forward Robert Carter are all Georgia players ranked among the nation’s top 25 overall prospects. Carter signed with Georgia Tech over UGA and Florida last week. It is not uncommon for elite prospects to wait until the later signing period.

The 6-foot-9, 280-pound Parker has already taken official visits to all four of his finalists, including rumored frontunners Duke and Ohio State, and said he simply needs more time to reach his decision. “I want to study and research my schools a little more, watch them play some games, and get a better feel for each of the coaching staffs,” Parker said. “It’s a big decision. I thought I would take some extra time, and my parents agreed. I talked to each of the schools about it, and they’re all fine with me waiting. I will probably commit sometime during the middle of the season.” Parker said he does not have a leader among his finalists.

Which local school has a better shot at Parker or Shaq?

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Meanwhile, Goodwin made the surprising announcement to commit to Memphis last week. He was expected to wait until after his senior season. “Shaq is committed to Memphis but we’ve decided to wait until after the season to sign the scholarship papers,” Goodwin’s mother told the AJC. “As you can imagine, this is a life-changing decision for my son, and we want to make sure that he has fully considered his options and done all of the necessary research before it’s official. He really likes Memphis, as does the rest of our family. We had a really good visit to Memphis, and we are very impressed with Coach Pastner, the team, and the university. Memphis is a special place. We are planning to make a trip back to Memphis for a regular-season game to experience the atmosphere and spend more time with the coaches and players. We want to make sure he feels just as good about everything at Memphis as he did during our first trip there. We also want to visit a couple of other schools for Shaq to have something to compare to Memphis. If my son feels as strongly about Memphis after the season as he does now, then he will definitely be a Memphis Tiger. We appreciate everyone’s patience and support as we finish the recruiting process.”

Why would a top prospect wait until April’s late period? There are many reasons. Here are four: (1) He may want to want to see if there are any coaching changes after the college season at the colleges he is considering. The assistant in charge of recruiting him may leave for another school, or the head coach could get fired or hired away by another team. (2) He may want to look at the depth chart after the college season to see if there are any transfers or NBA Draft defections which may affect his playing time. (3) He may want to visit the college during the actual season to get a better feel for the atmosphere, team and coaching styles. (4) Most likely, the player is simply undecided, or torn between a few schools, and needs more time to evaluate his decision – which appears to be the case with both Parker and Goodwin.

Doesn’t a player risk losing his scholarship by signing late? Yes, but highly unlikely with elite prospects such as Parker and Goodwin. Even if one school pulled a scholarship offer, there would be plenty of more willing to wait until the cows come home.

Memphis commit Shaq Goodwin played for his high school football team, which was eliminated in Friday's playoffs. He only began practicing basketball again this week (AJC)

Memphis commit Shaq Goodwin played for his high school football team, which was eliminated in Friday's playoffs. He only began practicing basketball again this week (AJC)

What about UGA and Georgia Tech? Parker made an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech, while Goodwin may take a visit to UGA. While both schools appear to be a longshot to land either player at this point, they shouldn’t be completely ruled out. Circumstances may change by the end of the season. Both UGA and Georgia Tech have scholarships open and will continue to recruit the 5-star prospects until they sign.

Parker’s Miller Grove team, the three-time Class AAAA state champions that are ranked No. 2 in one national poll, defeated Milton 75-72 in a scrimmage. Parker turned in a dominating performance with 20 points and 12 rebounds but uncharacteristically lost his composure briefly a few times after getting in early foul trouble. I honestly don’t think there’s a high school player in the country that can guard Parker in the post area. Against bigger players, Parker uses his superior footwork to create scoring opportunities. Against smaller players, Parker overruns them with his sheer bulk. Like many others, I wonder how Parker will match up with players equal in size and athleticism at the collegiate level, but he is worthy of all the prospect rankings in high school. Parker better get used to free throws because he is almost automatic to score when he gets the ball in the post area. It’s better strategy to simply foul him at that point. Against Milton, Parker showed a little bit of a mid-range game that is sorely-needed for college. Perhaps most impressively, Parker appeared to be in the best shape of his life – the baby fat has transformed into muscle. “I’m trying,” Parker said with a laugh. “I’m at 280 pounds. I was at 295 during the summer. We don’t have another game for 19 days. I’ll probably be down to 270 by then. I’m trying to get in shape like you,” Parker said with another laugh, pointing to a sportswriter.

What about Goodwin? His Southwest DeKalb team, which also features Auburn-bound guard Jordan Price, plays in a scrimmage against Class AAA state champion Columbia High School, which is led by Jarmal Reid (Oregon State) and Chris Horton (Austin Peay). The scrimmage is 7 p.m. Tuesday at Columbia.

  • Note: Mark your calendar now to see Parker and Goodwin to go head-to-head in a matchup on Dec. 6 at Southwest DeKalb. Like last year, an overflow crowd is expected.
  • Former Rockdale County basketball star Kevin Ware has met NCAA eligibility requirements and will join Louisville’s team in mid-December, according to Kentucky. com.
  • FOOTBALL: More on the son of NFL All-Pro Richard Seymour, who was offered a football scholarship by UGA last weekend. DeVondre Seymour, the offensive tackle from North Gwinnett High School, told UGASports.com’s Emily Nerland he was called into Mark Richt’s office: “When I first walked in, I had my arms behind my back and (Richt) was like ‘Let me see your arms.’ So I put them out, and he was like, ‘Dang, you got some long arms.’ And he said, ‘Put your hand up to my chest,’ and I put my hand up to his chest and he tried to reached out and touch me, and he couldn’t. He was like, ‘See, that’s what I like, I can’t touch you.’ And then after that he was like, ‘We are going to offer you a full scholarship here,’” Seymour explained.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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48 comments Add your comment

Big Daddy

November 15th, 2011
6:14 am

Big Daddy

November 15th, 2011
6:16 am

Shaq – stay in State and help Coach Fox build a program. It’s great to be a Dawg!

tenn.DAWG

November 15th, 2011
6:24 am

No doubt they are more needed and will be more appreciated if they stay at home.

slydog

November 15th, 2011
6:58 am

@Douglas

Easy to say when you don’t have any skin in the game. Once these guys sign that LOI, the schools and the NCAA have all the power to handle them anyway they please, not mention all the conference rules, regulations, and procedures. Each conference has a different way they operate, on top of any rules set by the NCAA. Why not wait until the last minute? It’s the only time they will make this decision in their whole life, which could affect their entire lives.

Proud-Dawg

November 15th, 2011
7:16 am

Fox is coaching at a football school, so let’s not knock his recruiting efforts. Georgia Tech has had more success, so naturally they will have the upper hand (just like UGA & football). Shaq ends up at UCLA and Parker ends up at Duke. At UGA we should be content with 3 star players and the occasional 4/5 star. It’s going to be a long year on the court in Athens. With that said, Go Dawgs

Da'Rick is 0-2

November 15th, 2011
7:16 am

Anyone else tired of hearing about these 2? I am sure that there is more talent in the state that we can talk about. I don’t blame them for going out of state, but I don’t want to hear about them again until they sign, PERIOD. They have become the Stephenson of basketball. (Simply meaning it is all the AJC covers)

Michael Carvell

November 15th, 2011
7:17 am

@Da’Rick, thanks for your comment. Tony Parker and Shaq Goodwin are ranked among the top basketball prospects in the USA. We will continue writing about them frequently until they sign.

SickandTired

November 15th, 2011
8:19 am

Woohoo. Mark can’t touch this kid when his arms are extended. Brilliant. That Mark Richt is a genius. He’s so smart. And it looks like he will turn the easiest SEC schedule in history into a contract extension. Brilliant.

Just Saying

November 15th, 2011
8:26 am

Shaq is doing the smart thing. Pastner could bolt for another job, Memphis could face NCAA sanctions, or he could decide Athens is a better and closer opportunity, where family could attend every home game. Parker knows both Duke and Ohio St will be waiting for him in April, he is a class young man who is torn.

@lagadawg – considering his options is a nice way of saying he isn’t 100% certain about Memphis, it is a 7-8 hr drive, family and friends won’t see him play often. His options are stay closer to home in Athens or go to the West Coast to UCLA and Korey McCray.

dap01

November 15th, 2011
8:40 am

Shaq, stay at home and be a hero. Your family and friends can then be a part of your college experience. Memphis? Yikes.

catlady

November 15th, 2011
8:42 am

Hey, ya’ll, I made 4 dozens pints of applebutter at the cannery Thursday. Very good on biscuits. MJG, I will bring you some when I see you again!

superd

November 15th, 2011
8:46 am

tide roll

November 15th, 2011
9:00 am

Now I get it. I guess Brandon Greene and Vadal Alexander’s arms just weren’t long enough! Bama and LSU may want to reconsider. South Carolina may want to rescind Joe Harris’ offer as well. After this year, which features the most athletically gifted offensive line in UGA history, get ready for more of the same from RICHT/BOBO. In other words, starting players along the offensive line who don’t even belong in the SEC! And your record will reflect it.

UGAandGTdad

November 15th, 2011
9:06 am

If Shaq and Parker are serious about basketball, then Memphis is the place for them. Memphis plays a fast paced game (unlike a certain team from LA). The coaches and trainers are top notch and have great connections with the NBA. Home games are in an NBA arena and they pack the house with fans. Only the love of barbeque comes close to the popularity of Memphis basketball in that city.

Questions for tide roll- probably too hot to handle

November 15th, 2011
9:34 am

1. Did you know UGA tried to recruit Greene and Alexander?

2. You claim to be a Bama fan. Do you think Barrett Jones is Bama’s best offensive lineman, as most observers do?

3. Do you think AJ McCarron is a better QB than Philip Sims? If not, can you give a reason why Saban would be starting AJ? Is it a racial thing with Nick?

4. Do you agree with the reliable Bama posters on here (true Tide fans) that say Saban backed off on recruiting Newton due to non-football concerns?

5. Do you really believe what you posted some weeks back that Saban did not recruit Newton hard in 2010 because he figured he was a lock to UGA? Do you honestly think Saban is that much out of the loop on recruiting?

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 15th, 2011
9:40 am

At Georgia Shaq would be double teamed all the time but at Memphis, with all their stars and depth, he would be played one on one. What I am saying is he would have better stats and more help at Memphis. I don’t think he is getting paid to go there. Georgia needed at least two of these guys to be competitive on a national level.

juvenal

November 15th, 2011
9:43 am

if Parker is not a one & done, just think-Royal, Carter, and?

U of Mem(901 To Final 4)

November 15th, 2011
9:54 am

Shaq Goodwin, yes, he will be coming to Memphis. If he wanted to play football, he would go to LSU or Bama. But if Shag wants to play basketball in a NBA area every night, 19,000+ fans at everygame, 19+ games on National TV, pre-season ranked #9 in the country with 8 sophmores on the team(1 senior), NBA scouts at every game, Michael Jordan comes to 4/5 games a year to watch our team, a team that plays fastpace above the rim defensive minded basketball, WE HAVE NO SYSTEM PLAYERS, WE HAVE TRUE BALLERS, 5 hours from home, and most of all. A school and city with a large African-American population as well as the city(don’t have to look for them on TV). Also, a place where Basketball is KING and not a forgotten sport, like Athens!!!!!!!!!!!!………..Yes, Shag, UGA is such a better option!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…………….

harold

November 15th, 2011
10:34 am

THEY WON’T WANT TO PLAY FOR A TEAM THAT IS NOT COMMITTED TO BASKETBALL——LIKE UGA.

JJ

November 15th, 2011
10:36 am

I am getting tired of hearing about these two kids, It would be great to have some real basketball coverage for a change. Write articles about some other teams besides Milton, MG, or SWD. Seems like Miller Grove is the Milton of last year for the AJC. As far as Memphis, it would be ridiculus for Parker to go to Memphis, reluctantly i went to the MG vs Milton game last week, and Parker doesn’t run the floor well enough to play at Memphis. Infact if Miller Grove wants to win this year they have to run, they did poorly half court both on offense and Defense, they may be an even better team with him on the bench, And does anyone know who number 13 is? he pulled Miller Grove through, i think the kid came off the bench and went 100% from the field. Mostly 3 pointers????

bjohndawg

November 15th, 2011
10:58 am

Hey I am with Da Rick is 0-2 and JJ. I am tired of hearing about these two kids. Let them go where they want. Find another story. With as much basketball recruiting in this state I am sure there is another kid or two to write about.
Hey U of Mem quick question…when is the last time Memphis won the national championship? I dont remember? Do You? If they are such ballers…where is that trophy?
Shaq last time I counted UCLA had like 11. And the women are much finer in LA or Athens then in Memphis. Something to think about.

Dennis

November 15th, 2011
11:10 am

I was at MG/Milton game as well. Would disagree he was dominating. He did okay but didn’t dominate. Had a dunk blocked by Nolte. Hopefully him losing more weight will make him quicker off his feet. Milton also double-teamed him early and stripped him a couple of times. While Milton has some D-1 players, he’ll see a whole lot more of that in college. And really, he did lose his cool a couple of times but his reaction did not fit the crime. He more seemed like a spoiled kid waiting for his call. This ain’t street ball. When that happens to you, next time you get the ball, power dribble and dunk on them. That’s your answer, not whining to the ref’s. That being said, Shaq Johnson has CRAZY hops..my goodness, one of the lob passed thrown to him I thought was too high and a foot outside the backboard and he still got it. Gets off his feet the quickest I’ve seen. I saw Doc Rivers in high school, Terry Cummings, some of the other high flyers and he gets up faster than most.

atl tiger

November 15th, 2011
11:11 am

IMHO, Shaq will not wear a Tiger uniform. Dang.

U of Mem(901 To Final 4)

November 15th, 2011
11:20 am

@bjohndawg – when did become relevant in basketball again. They are losing recruits to Arizona like crazy. I can tell you who about former Memphis players that recently won (2)NBA Rookie of the Year awards(Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans) and one NBA MVP(Derrick Rose). UCLA play slow basketball that would make Hoosiers look like UNLV. I also know this, UCLA pay for a lot of those titles 11 titles, ask Sam Gilbert aka Papa G that worked with the great John Wooden. UCLA is a larger school that has unlimited resources. What if Univ of Memphis had the same resources with a deep talent pool of a city 1/5 the size of LA. When a player comes from the Univ of Memphis, he is a true baller. The 60’s and 70’s is long gone. If we are going to go back in history, the SWAC and MEAC is the greatest football conference every, it’s the SEC without the cacausion brothers. The last time UCLA played Memphis, I think they got spanked. LA has a lot of beautiful women, I can’t win that agrument but Miami is better than LA, that’s a fact. I’m not into fake parts, looks crazy after a year or two. I prefer the ladies of South Beach, Miami…….sorry son, Parris Hilton is not my type, she has no curves or backside. Brothers, we like built like Beyonce!!

UGAandGTdad

November 15th, 2011
11:28 am

Seriously, these are all fine schools, but basketball is an afterthought at all but Memphis. UCLA has a great history – a history that ended pretty much before these guys’ parents were even born. You might as well be playing a club sport at UGA or GT as to be on the varsity basketball team. I’m pretty sure tailgating is a bigger sport than basketball in this state.

collegeballfan

November 15th, 2011
11:49 am

“It’s going to be a long year on the court in Athens.”

I disagree. Georgia has a wonderful coach, solid players, and hopefully a loud home crowd.
And they have that 5 star Frosh guard who will get better game by game.

Over .500 for the year.

bjohndawg

November 15th, 2011
2:05 pm

U of Mem…. Paris Hilton is one reason he might not want to go to LA.
UCLA won one of their 11 titles in the 90s. If you dont want to answer the Memphis title question thats okay.. But if I have to be stuck in Memphis( been there three times) or LA( several). I will take LA any day over that arm pit called Memphis.Even Beyonce likes to hang in LA. :>) They dont even want to stop in the Crown Room in Memphis. But hey if Shaq wants to go there, no problem. Maybe when he is not playing basketball he can solve a murder investigation or two. Eat some BBQ ribs on Beale. Roll up his pants when the Mississippi decides to flood again. Visit West Memphis.Go to Graceland. Lots to do in Memphis the first two days. Perhaps two seasons and then he runs to the NBA so he gets away from the boredom. Still, I would like to see the ballers win something. As for your comment about the NBA ( None Basketball Association).Going to the NBA if you have talent, then he could go to JU and go the NBA. Scouts will find him in memphis, LA, Athens, Slippery Rock….anywhere he plays.That is not a reason to go to Memphis.

Dennis

November 15th, 2011
2:40 pm

gotta agree with bjohndawg, there is nothing in Memphis for anybody…if you can play, you can play. Memphis is not getting the exposure they did when Calipari was there. UCLA will get it because they’re in LA and they’re PAC-10 or 12 or whatever they are. May be why Goodwin is backing off a bit after supposedly agreeing to go there. Sounds like Mom & Dad and their experience in making big decisions are helping this kid, which is great for him. Really, other than Rose, who’s gone to NBA from Memphis that’s made an impact? Even if UCLA is having a not so great year by their standards, Jrue Holiday still goes first round. Nuff said.

westcoastelite

November 15th, 2011
2:59 pm

you mean mempiss’ vacated title and i hear the family is serious about academics so that CLEARLY knocks the tigers off his list. he’s ucla bound…i’ll be back to crow at all you fools

texasdude70

November 15th, 2011
3:34 pm

JJ I AGREE THERE ARE MORE KIDS IN THE STATE BESIDES THIS TWO KIDS. THERE ARE TWO PRETTY GOOD GUARDS IN CONYERS AT ROCKDALE HIGH SCHOOL AND SALEM HIGH SCHOOL,COLUMBIA HAS A GOOD GUARD ALSO. LET’S GIVE SOME OF THESE OTHER KIDS SOME PUBLICITY.

opinion

November 15th, 2011
3:34 pm

bjohndawg, Dennis, westcoastelite are just sh|t stains. Nuff said.

just sayin

November 15th, 2011
3:37 pm

Dennis
November 15th, 2011
2:40 pm

Really, other than Rose, who’s gone to NBA from Memphis that’s made an impact?

That is one more than UCLA or UGA.

opinion

November 15th, 2011
3:40 pm

a sh|t stain posting as Dennis has never heard of Tyreke Evans. Or CDR who posterized Kevin Love in the NCAA’s. ROTFLMAO at this sh|t stain named Dennis.

[...] says he simply needs more time to consider his options in order to make the right decision.  “I want to study and research my schools a little more, watch them play some games, and get a better feel for each of the coaching staffs,” Parker said. [...]

atl tiger

November 15th, 2011
4:07 pm

UCLA better hope Parker or Shaq don’t see tape of the Memphis/Belmont game. Belmont lost at Duke 77-76 on Sat and lost by 97-81 to Memphis.

Hoopster

November 15th, 2011
4:58 pm

UGa is weak on the inside and will get pushed around when playing normal D1 competition. It will be a long year on the Athens hardcourts.

Goodwin To Sign Late

November 15th, 2011
7:02 pm

[...] to wait until after the season to sign the scholarship papers,” Goodwin’s mother told the AJC. “As you can imagine, this is a life-changing decision for my son, and we want to make sure that [...]

And the most hilarious post on the blog goes to...

November 15th, 2011
10:22 pm

just sayin

November 15th, 2011
3:37 pm
Dennis
November 15th, 2011
2:40 pm

Really, other than Rose, who’s gone to NBA from Memphis that’s made an impact?

That is one more than UCLA or UGA.
———-
You may have heard os a couple of these guys
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Marques Johnson, Walt Hazzard, Reggie Miller, Pooh Richardson, Ed O’Bannon

Jackie Robertson played at UCLA and although he didn’t play in the NBA he made more of an impact on sport in the US than all of the rest combined

And the most hilarious post on the blog goes to...

November 15th, 2011
10:27 pm

just sayin

November 15th, 2011
3:37 pm

There are currently 16 ex-UCLA players on NBA rosters. There are 7 ex-Memphis players, and that includes a transfer from Duke

bjohndawg

November 16th, 2011
12:26 am

Hoopster…I watched Dawgs the other night against Wofford. You right, they have a perimeter game but inside they are light, way light. I hope for the best, but think it is going to be a tough year for them. If both Robinson and Pope are not playing lights out, they put one in the L column on those nights.

[...] day of basketball’s early signing period, and the state’s top two prospects — Tony Parker and Shaq Goodwin — are unlikely to sign. Both are ranked among the nation’s top 25 [...]

What a stupid group

November 16th, 2011
8:39 am

What happened the last time Memphis and UCLA played? Remember UCLA fans, it was the Final Four and Chris Douglass Roberts just dunked on your boy Love’s face so nasty Love got a face full of balls. We killed you guys by double digits. So don’t come on here acting like you are so superior to Memphis in basketball. Memphis is 5-6 hours away from Atlanta not 7 or 8 and to say they are not getting the same exposure since Calapari left just shows your ignorance. Memphis is on national TV 19 times this year. That is more then any regular season Calapari was there. Before people start asking how many basketball national championships Memphis has you may want to ask how many UGA or Ga Tech have. How many is there for both schools combined??? BJOBDAWG nobody could care less what you like to do in certain towns. This is about what a 18-22 year old African American Male likes to do in his spare time and like Atlanta, Memphis is a really fun spot for African Americans. Michael Carvell thank you for your coverage on these kids. I love that Georgia has such good players and I love hearing updates about them. If these idiots don’t want to read about it then “Don’t read the article”. Is it that hard or are you that sad you have to read articles and then blog about how you think the editor should stop writing on them. Some people are so dumb it is scary!!!

rawdawgbuffalo

November 16th, 2011
1:07 pm

Memphis would be best for both Parker and Shaq

Fan

November 16th, 2011
1:40 pm

Dawg Fans…your basketball program is irrelavant and always will be!

UGAandGTdad

November 16th, 2011
2:20 pm

Shaq did the smart thing. He’s a Tiger!

memtiger

November 16th, 2011
2:21 pm

Shaq confirmed.

obamaagainin2012

November 16th, 2011
4:03 pm

Shag is Memphis bound. All haters go suck one.

M-TOWN-TIGER

November 19th, 2011
2:32 pm

HATERS,HATERS,HATERS,!!!!!!LISTEN HEAR MEMPHIS IS THE NEW ERA OF COLLEGE BASKETBALL THESE YOUNG MEN WANT TO PLAY IN A NBA ARENA NOT A FIELD HOUSE GET USE TO IT THEY DONT WANT TO GO THESE LITTE COUNTRY TOWN ANY MORE SO SUCK IT UP AN GET OVER IT HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!