Jabari Parker will announce his college decision on ESPNU today at 4pm est. The former #1 rated prospect in the 2013 class will decide between Michigan State, Brigham Young, Duke, Florida and Stanford.
Parker eliminated North Carolina who offered him but were never seen as a real contender for his services and were eliminated before even made a visit to Chapel Hill. The 6-foot-8 forward of Simeon Career Academy star from Chicago was replaced by Andrew Wiggins as the #1 rated prospect in the class when Wiggins reclassified from the 2014 class.
Parker is a sensational prospect who can do it all on the court and at 6-8 can play several positions. He is seen as a likely one and done prospect who will head to the NBA in the 2014 draft and the former SI cover boy has all the tools to dominate the college game from the minute he steps onto somebody’s floor as a freshman.
Parker’s recruiting process has been kept close to the vest and picking a favorite is a crap shoot until the moment Jabari puts on the hat of the lucky program he will call home for at least one year. If Parker picks the Tar Heels arch rival Duke does that mean that Carolina must get Andrew Wiggins? I think the answer to that question is yes. Although the Blue Devils who are currently ranked #1 in the country will lose three key seniors after this season they will still be a very good team if they land Parker. Jabari is the type of player who would make any team in the ACC a contender to win the conference title and a top 25 team nationally.
While UNC is struggling this season they still have a ton of talent and will only lose one senior with Dexter Strickland the lone player on the roster set to graduate. Even with James Michael McAdoo largely expected to go pro after this year Roy Williams will still have plenty of talent on his roster. What they lack this season is a player who can put them on his back and take over a ball game and if Duke lands Parker they will lack somebody who can go head to head with him when the two teams face off in the most heated rivalry in college basketball.
Like Carmelo Anthony did for Syracuse or Kevin Durant for Texas, both Parker and Wiggins have the ability to make the program they go to an instant national title contender. Given the intense rivalry between North Carolina and Duke if the Blue Devils do in fact land Parker, landing Wiggins becomes paramount for UNC.