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.
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 – 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.
THIS JUST IN …
AJC’S INSTANT RECRUITING CLASSICS
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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