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Thursday, December 20, 2012
Plan B for teams that missed on Parker

By Adam Finkelstein

Jabari Parker (Chicago/Simeon) has made his decision, and while Duke is the big winner, that leaves four other schools heartbroken at the altar. So now the question becomes, where do those programs go from here?

Let’s take a look at how they can rebound from losing out on Parker.

Michigan State

Spartans coach Tom Izzo invested nearly four years, countless man-hours and resources to recruit Parker. When you make that type of commitment to recruiting one prospect and don’t land the commitment, there isn’t much of a silver lining. But the good news for Izzo is that everyone but Derrick Nix should be back in the fold next season, so the Spartans should be in good position to compete for a title, even without Parker. Michigan State would love to add one quality piece along the front line, but with few remaining in the Class of 2013, don’t be surprised to see them stash their final scholarship and use it in 2014.

Johnny Dawkins
Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins will have to go in another direction after coming up short of landing Jabari Parker.


The Gators went the distance in this process, with coach Billy Donovan traveling to visit with Parker and his family as recently as Monday night. Although the Gators didn’t end up getting their man, of the four schools in similar predicaments, they’re in the best position. Donovan already has a lethal one-two punch coming in next season in Kasey Hill (Eustis, Fla./Montverde Academy) and Chris Walker (Bonifay, Fla./Holmes County) and was working overtime to land either Parker or Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood Christian) with his last remaining scholarship. With Parker off the board, Florida will be in ‘Randle or bust’ mode.


Had Dave Rose and his staff pulled this off, they would have delivered arguably one of the two best recruits in BYU history while solidifying the best recruiting class in program history. Although the former will not come to fruition, you still could make a case for the latter. Even without Parker, the Cougars' five-man haul of Nick Emery (Highland, Utah/Lone Peak), Eric Mika (Highland, Utah/Lone Peak), Luke Worthington (Mequon, Wis./Homestead), Jakob Hartsock (Bartlesville, Okla./Bartlesville) and Braiden Shaw (Eagle, Idaho/Eagle) gives them their first top 25 national recruiting class since ESPN began ranking classes in 2007.


Although Parker insisted in recent weeks that all five schools were still in play, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Stanford, and coach Johnny Dawkins reacted accordingly in recent weeks. With just one senior on this year’s roster, the Cardinals signed two prospects last month in Schuyler Rimmer (Orlando, Fla./Boone) and Marcus Allen (Las Vegas/Centennial) while also securing one of the best recruited walk-ons in the country in Allen’s twin brother, Malcolm (Las Vegas/Centennial). With their season on hiatus for final exams, the Cardinal coaches hit the recruiting trail hard in recent weeks, focusing the majority of their efforts on the classes of 2014 and 2015.