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Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Why Jabari Parker would pick ...

By Reggie Rankin



On Thursday, live on ESPNU and WatchESPN at 4 p.m. ET, No. 2 ESPN 100 prospect Jabari Parker (Chicago/Simeon) will end his long recruitment and make his college decision public.

Despite earlier reports that Michigan State and Duke were in the lead, nobody -- not even his father -- seems to know for certain which school Parker will pick from his final five of BYU, Duke, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford.

With the field still seemingly open, here’s a look at the factors each of his finalists has in its favor and why Parker would pick each program.

Jabari Parker sign
There are plenty of factors for Jabari Parker to choose BYU -- or any of his other four finalists.
BYU: Parker could play with a recruiting class already ranked No. 17 in the nation that is vastly underrated. He would be the highest-ranked player to sign in the history of the program and the best player at BYU probably since Danny Ainge. He would be the go-to guy from day one and play for a terrific coach in Dave Rose who will build the offense around him and run it through him. Finally, he could satisfy and build upon his religious commitment while playing college basketball.

Duke: Parker could play for a championship program and Hall of Fame coach in Mike Krzyzewski, who has elite basketball connections that will be a great benefit for Parker well after he leaves Duke. The quality education of Duke is also a major plus. He could play with other excellent players in a motion, ball-screen, spread offensive attack that fits Parker’s skill set perfectly. With the Blue Devils, he could be the second coming of Grant Hill.

Florida: Billy Donovan is a two-time national championship coach with an excellent reputation for individual player development. Equally important, the Gators’ offensive style is a perfect fit for Parker’s skill set. They implement random ball screens and a spread attack. Florida also uses multiple defensive schemes, which fits Parker well. He could play with the second-best point guard in the 2013 class in Kasey Hill if he chooses the Gators.

Michigan State: Parker could play for a national championship coach in Tom Izzo, who has built a great relationship with Parker and his family. Word is that Parker may be closer and more comfortable with Izzo than any of the other head coaches. Izzo is excellent at putting players in a position to be successful in his offensive sets and has great on- and off-the-court relationships with players. Parker could play with a great mix of veteran and young players on the Spartans. Michigan State is also the closest school to home of his finalists, and playing in the Big Ten would mean road games against Illinois and Northwestern, where his family and friends can more easily see him play.

Stanford: He would be the marquee player for coach Johnny Dawkins from day one. The Cardinal would feature Parker immediately and run the offense through him as a freshman. Dawkins was a great player in college and made it to the NBA, so he knows what it will take for Parker to get to that level. Dawkins was Coach K’s first big recruit who led to other great players coming to Duke. It is a great selling point for Dawkins to tell Parker he can do the same for Stanford. Parker also would receive an elite education from Stanford.