Shabazz Muhammad is bringing intense athleticism back to the Pac-12. Can Jabari Parker continue the trend in 2013?
Parker is considered the best overall talent in the 2013 recruiting class, and rightfully so. The Chicago wing man is one of the most gifted forwards with an elite skillset that can kill your team in multiple ways. Although he doesn't wow you with his athleticism, the potential is there for him to grow into quite the basketball player in college and the pros.
Just like Ben Howland was counting on Shabazz to save his job, Lorenzo Romar might be doing a little bit of the same to convince the swing man to come out west. Romar is not quite in dire a shape as his UCLA counterpart, but he could really use an impact recruit like Parker to ease off some of the pressure he's been facing really.
Romar does have an ace in the hole though.
If you're looking for comparisons, Coach K at Duke did compare Parker to Kobe Bryant and Grant Hill. I'm not sure if he's really Kobe based on his highlights, but Hill? Yeah, I can see that. Great playmaker, rebounder, distributor at the small forward position--that does sound like a young Grant Hill. The athleticism doesn't overwhelm you, but the skill level does. There are lots of different ways for Parker to attack you and get at you offensively that it's hard to see him not panning out.
Only two programs are at the moment in serious contention from the Pac-12--Washington and Utah. Parker is Mormon, but it's likely he'd pick BYU instead of Utah if he did go down that path. Also, BYU generally manufactures tournament appearances the same way Utah manufactures losses.
So it's the Huskies that have to try and fight off the rest of the country, and Romar will have an uphill role. His hands-off approach might work well for Parker, as will his lassiez-faire policy on one-and-dones, but everyone's going to start courting him soon, making Romar's job very very difficult.
But Romar might have an important piece: Jabari's brother Chris could be in Washington next year to see him do his thing in his likely lone year in college.
The highlights from the interview are:
- Chris tells the ‘Sistas’ that he is attending UW and "trying to get his degree". He transferred from BYU-Hawaii.
- Chris also says, "I have been Jabari’s hype man for a long time."
- Chris says he is "unofficially part of the (UW) staff." He said being officially on staff requires getting a paycheck and as an undergraduate he can’t receive a paycheck.
- Chris says his pull for Jabari to come to UW is a "very indirect influence." He quoted his father as saying "It does but it doesn’t influence him.
- Mentions his father and Lorenzo Romar as being in contact with each other.
We probably won't know anything for awhile about whether this is significant enough to make Jabari think about playing in Seattle, especially considering the full court press is on from all major teams. But if Washington fans want some positive news on the recruiting front after a pretty bare boned 2012 class, this is a good step.