Monday, September 17, 2012
Jabari Parker hosts top coaches
By Scott Powers ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- Simeon Career Academy forward Jabari Parker, the nation's No. 1-ranked senior, will have Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and North Carolina coach Roy Williams in for home visits this week, and Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins will visit next week before Parker cuts his list to five schools and sets up official visits, Parker's father said on Monday.
Parker released a list of 10 schools in July, and it consisted of BYU, DePaul, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina and Stanford. BYU, DePaul, Florida and Kansas have already made in-home visits.
Parker's father, Sonny Parker, said Monday he was unsure whether Georgetown and Kentucky would be given in-home visits.
Sonny also thought it was doubtful Illinois would be allowed an in-home visit. The Illini did not make Parker's initial list, but Illinois coach John Groce has continued to recruit Parker.
Simeon coach Robert Smith said Monday he was hopeful Illinois would be given a last-minute opportunity. Parker's high school teammate Kendrick Nunn committed to Illinois on Saturday.
"I'm not sure if something could happen," Smith said of Illinois making a home visit. "I hope it can happen. (Groce) can sit down and give his presentation of Illinois and what he expects to do. I hope that dialogue can happen soon before Jabari sets up his official visits."
Sonny said the visits to date have gone well, but he and his wife haven't discussed them much with Jabari yet.
"They've pretty much been the same with a lot of similarities," Sonny said of the visits. "They're all good. They're selling their program in terms of him fitting in their system, fitting in their program. We haven't sat down and talked about which one he likes over the other.
"Kansas has a tradition and winning program. With BYU, they've been to the tournament and won 25 games. DePaul is local and needs a player like him to take it over the top. You can't compare them. They're all different."
Sonny said his advice to his son has been simple throughout the process.
"Just take your time and follow your heart," Sonny said. "Go on your official visits and evaluate that, too. With the home visits, you're on your home court. Just listen to everybody's presentation as they're trying to sell their program. Make sure you ask questions.
"It's time consuming. You just want to make sure everything is right. It's something we have to go through. Fortunately, Jabari is in the position where he can pick and choose any of the top programs."
As a junior, Parker was named the ESPNChicago.com Player of the Year, Illinois' Mr. Basketball and the national Gatorade Player of the Year. He averaged 19.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 3.3 blocks and 1.4 steals per contest.