One On One With Tony Parker

The top post prospect on the Duke recruiting board in the class of 2012 is Georgia big man Tony Parker. Despite aggravating a lower back injury on Sunday morning, Parker played well on Friday and Saturday at the EYBL Hampton event. On Saturday evening he sat down with TDD for an interview.

You just finished with a tough match-up. What do you take away from a loss like that?

Tony Parker: Number one, we have to play harder. We didn't play all that well and they earned the win.

Talk about the matchup with Thomas Hamilton, he seemed to be very motivated in this match-up.

Yeah, Hamilton's really good. I've seen him around a lot and he's a good ballplayer, I knew it was going to be a tough matchup and he played real well.

Heading into the AAU circuit, what are your expectations for yourself? Is the idea of being the top big guy in the class a driving force?

That's everybody goals to be honest, but more than anything I just want to get better as a player, that's my main goal.

With college basketball now over, are you watching NBA teams to get your hoops fix?

I definitely watch some NBA basketball, more old though than new. I watch a lot of Kevin McHale, Dwight Howard, I watch a lot of different guys.

Did you watch any of the Final Four or NCAA Tournament?

I watched every single game of the Final Four since I was in that tournament in Houston at the same time of the Final Four.

Were you watching as a fan or a potential recruit? Maybe both?

I noticed that every team played hard and they tried to use their bigs, but mainly that they all fought really hard. In the tournament it's all about who wants it more.

With Duke, you've been quoted that they are recruiting you the hardest---can you clarify what that means?

It means that the Duke coaches just call me more, they talk to my family more, they come down to visit me more. It's that kind of thing.

Is that a big deal in your eyes?

It just means that they are the ones who are coming the hardest at that time, that's all that that means.

You've mentioned before about perceptions you've had with certain programs utilizing their bigs in various ways compared to others.

I mean, you look at schools like Ohio State with Sullinger and Kansas with the Morris twins. They are high profile big men, so it's easier for me to see that I could be used at places like that.

Does that mean a school like Duke could have a bit more of an uphill climb in your evaluation of these various programs?

To be honest, I don't really know yet. I just need to continue to see what they have to say to me about how they see me fitting in and how they could use me in their system. I mean, the good coaches and teams always try to figure out ways to make their system work with the guys they have.

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