Where will Tony Parker sign? Duke? UGA? Kansas? UCLA? (UPDATED)

Where will Tony Parker sign today?

It’s unlikely that he will sign anywhere on Wednesday – the opening day of the NCAA’s late signing period, which runs until May 16.

Which star prospect does UGA have a better chance of signing?

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Parker, one of the nation’s top uncommitted basketball prospects, has seven schools as his finalists: Duke, UGA, Kansas, UCLA, Ohio State, Georgetown and Memphis.

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Parker is scheduled to appear on a signing-day show on ESPNU but he will likely just discuss his finalists rather than sign any papers.

The 6-foot-9, 280-pounder has remained poker-faced throughout the recruiting process, rarely revealing any hints. One noted basketball recruiting analyst said that he’s never been “more at a loss” with predicting Parker’s final resting place for college basketball.

We’re going to take our best shot at where we think things stand with TP:

  • Duke – Pros: Duke is one of college basketball’s top five programs, and has a living legend as a head coach. They play in the ACC, many games will be within driving distance (including the annual game at Georgia Tech), and Tony’s father favors Duke. Cons: Coach K has a lackluster reputation for developing big men, Tony is not sure how he fits into the offensive scheme, and if Duke really had that overpowering “deer in the headlights” effect on Parker … he would’ve committed or signed with them a long time ago. Final opinion: The fading frontrunner.
  • Kansas – Pros: This was Parker’s best official visit and he was blown away by the atmosphere. Cons: The Jayhawks got in the Parker sweepstakes too late. Former NBA star Danny Manning, who specialized in training big men at Kansas, was hired away as Tulsa’s coach. Out of our four finalists, Kansas would be the toughest place for Parker to have an instant impact because of team depth. Final opinion: When Manning left the building, so did Kansas’ best chances. Otherwise, they might be our frontrunner. Timing is everything in life, isn’t it?
  • UCLA – Pros: Tony’s former AAU coach with the Atlanta Celtics was hired as an assistant at UCLA. They’re tight. Tony loves the basketball tradition and the sunny California weather. Cons: Distance. Final opinion: They are the new darkhorse.
    UGA's Mark Fox would land the signature recruit of his college coaching career if he was somehow able to lure Tony Parker to the Bulldogs out of the blue (AJC photo)

    UGA's Mark Fox would land the signature recruit of his college coaching career if he was somehow able to lure Tony Parker to the Bulldogs ... out of the blue (AJC photo)

  • UGA – Pros: Tony feels extra comfortable at UGA because two of his high school teammates will be playing for the Bulldogs next year – they were ultra-successful at Miller Grove, so why not in college? Parker likes Mark Fox’s track record of putting guys in the NBA and pointed out to us that Fox was ranked No. 1 in player development by TheRealGM.com. Tony loves Fox’s triangle offense and how it uses big men. UGA is close to home, allowing his legion of Miller Grove fans to attend his games. Tony would be  “just another great player” at the other schools, while he could be the face of the program for decades, like Dominique Wilkins. Perhaps, most importantly, his mother favors UGA. Cons: UGA has an NBA-like practice facility but its gym is still perceived to be a like a cow barn. UGA has disappointing fan support for basketball. Then again, Parker may feel like he can be part of a group to bring the fans back. Final opinion: We formerly called UGA “the darkest darkhorse ever” but now we feel like the Bulldogs are second in line and charging fast. We think every day that passes without Parker signing anywhere, it increases UGA’s chances. And if Parker makes an unofficial visit to UGA in the next few weeks, the Bulldogs will shoot to the moon and become our bona-fide frontrunner.
  • Memphis, Georgetown and Ohio State: It may be time to go to Plan B.

What are your thoughts? Please post below

  • UPDATED at 9:04 p.m. Wednesday: There were rumors that Parker might commit on ESPNU on Wednesday night. He did appear on the show but did not commit and only talked briefly.




– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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79 comments Add your comment


April 11th, 2012
1:48 am

Come join the Dawgs!


April 11th, 2012
1:49 am

Mark Fox is building something special here. Great effort and results with a very young team!


April 11th, 2012
1:49 am

Tony, Pray and go where God plaes on your heart. My gut feeling tells me UGA. Where ever you go just remember Nubian EYES are watching


April 11th, 2012
1:53 am

I was there when Dominique was there and it was electric. So too was it when Tubby Smith was the coach. We need you and you can make a GREAT impact!

Dawg Man

April 11th, 2012
1:58 am

Guaranteed dawg !!!!! Count on it. He’d be an idiot to go anywhere else.


April 11th, 2012
2:50 am

Your article actually swayed me toward thinking he could actually sign with us (uga). I’m 35, so its hard to recall the mind of an 18 year old (I played with Carlos Strong and Terrell Bell in HS in Athens, albeit riding pine). Your friends and family usually trump everything else – and if momma wants him at uga – and his closest bball buddies are at uga – that’s an enormous plus. Trying to put my emotional fandom aside – I really truly think we have a shot at this guy. Calapari and Billy D have gone on record as saying Mark Fox is an incredible coach – and he has a track record of making the best of his limited resources. In his head coaching career, he has never had a dominant roster – yet he somehow manages to compete against teams that are far superior. Imagine what he could do with a roster full of mickey d all americans.
Basketball recruiting is so sketchy that nothing would surprise me – but if he did commit to uga, he would be treated as an immediate hero. If he goes to duke or kansas – granted, he will be a part of very good teams, but he will be another cog in their machine.
If he’s good enough, he’ll make the big time wherever he goes – so I hope he listens to his momma – go dawgs!

Hugh Jass

April 11th, 2012
6:20 am

When I was a student at UGA it was actually fun to go to games. Remember Jumaine Jones, the Thrilla from Camilla? With a good product the seats will be packed again. He can be a legend in the state of Georgia for life if he plays at UGA. At Duke he would not develop as well and would just be another guy.

Bill Stanfill

April 11th, 2012
6:54 am

Fox has been successful signing excellent guards, small forwards but he hasn’t been able to nab the big man that the Dawgs need to be a tournament team.

Duke has to be the favorite, then maybe Kansas–but I agree that Tony may be reluctant to put that much distance between himself and his family and friends.

But don’t sell Mark Fox short. He will one day be among the most coveted coaches in college basketball.

old time dog

April 11th, 2012
7:18 am

I didn’t know we had a basketball program. Is that what they are doing between bowl season and spring practice. Well I’ll be!


April 11th, 2012
7:26 am

I remember the atmosphere at UGA when Dominique was there. Tony can help create that same feeling. Dominique was a great pro from UGA and Parker can be too.

Tony is the big man to complete a very good roster coming back next year. At UGA Tony can be THE special man, at Duke, he will be one of the freshman players.

SEC Basketball

April 11th, 2012
7:26 am



April 11th, 2012
7:27 am

“Mark Fox is building something special here.”

15-17 in year 3 is special?

Just Saying

April 11th, 2012
7:31 am

Perceived to be a Cow barn; did TP say that or is that “your” opinion? If it’s yours I wonder if you’ve been inside in the last few years. That comment sounds like something from a few folks who feel a $100 ++ million building is an imperative. While a new building would be nice, it ain’t happening. A lot of money and updates have been made at Stegeman over recent yrs it’s much better, and there’s more to come. The closest it is to a cow barn is when Tenn fans show up, they have some big gals decked out in orange, big girls.


April 11th, 2012
7:43 am

It’ll be….. UGA.

J Dub

April 11th, 2012
7:56 am

It takes cajones to break from the norm and think outside the box. It would be much safer for him to play at Duke or Kansas or UCLA because their names carry so much more weight than UGA when speaking of college Bball…does the kid want to take the safe route, or will he try to start something new and special at UGA with his teammates.
I like CMFox alot but UGA has still been barely above average since he got there. I would love to see them be annual contenders. i went to school when Tubby was there and man that was fun.

Bama Fan#2

April 11th, 2012
8:00 am

Hope he picks UGA!!! Duke and Coach K are hard to say
no to.


April 11th, 2012
8:05 am

How about a neither on the voting. This kid isn;t going to uga. Give me a break.


April 11th, 2012
8:09 am

And you call yourself an unbiased reporter? We know you went to uga but come on. And get your facts right. Lately duke has NOT “clobbered” gt and gt’s won a few recently. I am sure this post will be removed. MC censorship. Can’t let the truth get out mr uga grad.

“including the annual clobbering of Georgia Tech”


April 11th, 2012
8:18 am

“I was there when Dominique was there and it was electric.”

And Hugh Durham took UGA to the Final Four after Wilkins left for the NBA. Then Dooley fired Durham and UGA has been looking for a coach ever since,

And maybe with Fox UGA has finally found that coach they have been seeking for decades.


April 11th, 2012
8:24 am

It’s Duke………………….Do you eat at the Varsity………or Bones given the choice.


April 11th, 2012
8:26 am

I hope Fox can get pull this off . . .

Hubie Green

April 11th, 2012
9:02 am

Tony Parker goes by the beat of his own drum. He will make the decision based on his own perceptions. However I do know he loves Miller Grove and his former teammates; do not forget pass first point guard Charles Mann is coming. At Duke he will rebound missed 3’s diguised as passes.


April 11th, 2012
9:07 am

He should pick Tech, Front court of Miller, Carter, Hosley, and Parker would be sweet.
Add best player in the state Marcus Hunt in the backcourt would be nice


April 11th, 2012
9:16 am

That comment about Tech was totally unnecessary. You may be a UGA fan, but the people who read this paper/website expect unbiased reporting when it comes to the state schools. Clean it up man!


April 11th, 2012
9:17 am

Bama Time

April 11th, 2012
9:42 am

Go ahead and sign! What a drama queen.

5 star recruits, 2 star results

April 11th, 2012
9:48 am

Nice shot at the Institute you biased hack. Why not point out UGA’s annual pounding at the hands of…well I was gonna say Kentucky, but just about everybody in the SEC has taken it’s turn riding that dawg’s a**.

Michael Carvell

April 11th, 2012
10:00 am

Duke has won 28 of the last 31 games vs. Georgia Tech

Dawg Haus

April 11th, 2012
10:02 am

It’d be great if Coach Fox could reel in a player like Parker. Fingers crossed!

A person SMART enough to know......

April 11th, 2012
10:10 am

MC has been Smoking dope with the Football team if UGa is the best option in his mind. How many 1 or 2 and Done players does UGa get? This kid wants the NBA and that is always Sooner than later. He will not get great exposure at UGa.


April 11th, 2012
10:19 am

including the annual clobbering of Georgia Tech

Wow. You have to be kidding me. At least Chip pretended to be unbiased.

George Stein

April 11th, 2012
10:23 am

I never expected to get trolled by a writer for the AJC.

sports genius21

April 11th, 2012
10:24 am

i hope its uga that would be a huge get for coach fox GO DAWGS!


April 11th, 2012
11:04 am

Top notch fan blog post MC…you have proven yourself the Bill King of College Recruiting…you must be proud…homer.

Wake up and realize that UGA fans don’t care about basketball…just look at the comments!

Johnny DangerDawg

April 11th, 2012
11:10 am

UGA was able to increase basketball attendance when Jim Harrick was coaching and the team was consistently playing well. If Tony Parker believes he can turn the Dawgs into a winner, then selling out the Steg will not be a problem.
Still, I think UCLA has the edge.

Jayhawk Perspective

April 11th, 2012
11:24 am

The PROs for Kansas were a little brief. They consistently develop big men into getting drafted by the NBA (Morris Twins, Arthur, Aldrich, Jackson, Kaun) and its Bill Self as much as it is Danny Manning. And if a PRO for Duke is “Duke is one of college basketball’s top five programs” then I don’t see why that isn’t a PRO for Kansas as well.

About the Cons: Parker already said Danny leaving does not change his view (although I do admit its hard to believe that 100%). You’re right about the instant impact but don’t tell him or his father that. They seem to believe (rightfully so) that he will make an instant impact at any school immediately.

Beast from the East

April 11th, 2012
11:34 am

“cow barn” and “annual clobbering”….LOL

Sounds like an equal opportunity offender to me.


April 11th, 2012
11:41 am

Can you also change the poll to include an option of neither? That is a very real possibility you shockingly avoided…


April 11th, 2012
12:03 pm

He’s a Dawg! Why not sign with Duke when they first offered? Kansas’ big men are minor role players in the NBA right now. The Morris twins are not NBA bigs.(better suited for small forward) Cole Aldrich may develop into to a legitimate big but he’s not there yet. As a matter of fact, I thought Aldrich would have done better than he has. Danny Manning was not a back to the basket big so can he develop one? Jayhawk don’t take this as a shot at KU, as it would serve Parker well to go there but why would he make BlueBloods like KU and Duke wait? Unless he is going somewhere else. I think he’s a Dawg because of teammates and his Mom. This notion that Fox develops big men is great marketing. His most well known big is JaVale McGee. Ja. . .Vale Mcgee. Come on! Very talented and very athletic but not very skilled. Thompkins was already at UGA when Fox got there and Trey did improve but not enough to get minutes behind Blake Griffin and not enough to keep the Clippers from getting a way past his prime Kenyon Martin. I am a Dawg fan and here’s the hard truth. Fox needs Parker more than Parker needs Fox and I think we will get him. Go Dawgs!


April 11th, 2012
12:13 pm

A person Smart. . . he won’t get great exposure at UGA? What? Seriously? NBA teams already know who Parker is. College is no longer the exposure vehicle it once was. It is primarily training ground or the NBA’s farm system. There are players in the NBA from other countries who never had there games shown on American television until the Olympics, maybe. Exposure should be the least of his concerns. If you can play, the scouts know who you are regardless of what school you attended.

Big Albany Dawg

April 11th, 2012
12:38 pm

TULSA anyone? I wouldn’t be shocked…


April 11th, 2012
12:43 pm

Would he be a One and Done, where ever he goes ?


April 11th, 2012
12:44 pm

The big thing in basketball recruiting is happening tonight with Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad, the # 1 and # 2 rated players announcing their school choices.

Noel is going to UK or Georgetown
Muhammad is going to UCLA, UK or Duke

Same show Parker will be on

Could be the difference in UK being able to repeat as champs or not

Paul in NH

April 11th, 2012
12:48 pm

If Parker goes to UGA I think he will do well for the couple of years he is there before he goes to the pros. I like Fox as a coach, but spare me all the “developer of big men” nonsense. There is precisely 1 active big man in the NBA who was recruited by Fox – JaVale McGee (averaging around 10 pts a game in his 4th year).
Coach K, the man who can’t develop big men, has 5 active ones in the pros.
The truth of the matter is that big men develop in the pros not in college. Any “big man” with sufficient projected skills for the NBA only stays 1 or 2 years in college.


April 11th, 2012
12:52 pm

Parker has a once in a lifetime chance to play for one of the best coaches to ever coach college basketball and the Olympics. He goes to Duke.


April 11th, 2012
12:55 pm

You Tech Fan need to realize, that when you lose by more point in a game, against a team, that annual beats you, that it is called, an annual clobbering. Yes, GT has player a couple of close games, but the majority were one sided, and I believe anyone that has lost as many games, as GT has against Duke, would agree, that it is an annual thing for Duke to clobber GT.
01/25/03 Duke 71-91 L
02/26/03 Duke 58-77 L
1/10/02 Duke 79-104 L
02/09/02 Duke 63-95 L
02/21/01 duke 98-54 L
1/20/01 duke 98-77 L
1/12 Duke 57- 82 L
2/12 Duke 65- 84 L
January 31, 2004 Duke 82-74 L
March 03, 2004 GT 76-68 W
02/05/05 Duke 65-82 L
03/13/05 Duke 64-69 L
February 23, 2005 Duke 60-56 L
February 22, 2006 Duke 66-73 L
January 10, 2007 GT 74-63 W
January 18, 2007 Duke 62-71 L
January 14, 2009 Duke 56-70 L
Duke 1/9/10 71-67 W
Duke 2/4/10 67-86 L
Duke 3/14/10 61-65 L
2/20/11 Duke 57-79 L
1/7/12 Duke 74-81 L
Duke is 19-3 against GT since 1999 – 2000 season

Hoops Dawg

April 11th, 2012
12:57 pm

KBJ I wouldn’t be so dismissive of Fox’s work with Trey Thomkins, who went from a talented by somewhat lost freshman under Felton to a unanimous first-team all SEC performer as a soph under Fox. And tho not a big man, Travis Leslie went from a guy who could not get on the court (because of poor play) under Felton to an all-league caliber player under Fox. This year, I think that Fox did a remarkable job with Donte Williams and with NEME, both of whom improved by leaps and bounds during the season. I think that Tony Parker knows this. Finally, you should not be so down on Thompkins for not getting much playing time behind one of the NBA’s greatest stars, BLAKE GRIFFIN! How many starting forwards in the league would sit behind Blake?: the vast majority of them.

Paul in NH

April 11th, 2012
1:02 pm

2012 NBA All Stars 6′8″ and above
Carmelo – 1 year college
LeBron – 0
Dwight Howard – 0
Bosh – 1
Deng – 1
Roy Hibbert – 3 (a late bloomer)
Durant – 1
Griffin – 2
Andrew Bynum – 0
Aldridge – 2
Marcus Gasol – 0
Love – 1

Who ever gets Parker needs to enjoy him while they can.


April 11th, 2012
1:05 pm

Anyone who perceives Stegeman as a cow barn is a dullard…. and it’s obvious that dullard hasn’t been to Stegeman since the mid 1990s


April 11th, 2012
1:17 pm

total upset coming here, he is going to SAN DIEGO STATE