One On One With Tony Parker

Tony Parker has been one of the top prospects on the Duke recruiting radar for as long as the class of 2012 has been scouted. As he moves towards a decision, however, many wonder whether the Blue Devils still have a chance in this race. TDD spoke to the Georgia big man to find out.

TDD: You just wrapped up playing in the Elite 24, can you give us a brief recap of the experience?

Tony Parker: It was just a lot of fun. A lot of us being together was really cool because we've all known each other from AAU. We got to do some community service when we were off the court, that was a lot of fun, plus we went bowling and we played some video games too?

Which guys were the most competitive on and off the court?

Hands down it was Nerlens Noel. That dude was the best at the video games. He was taking everybody to school. I was hanging out a lot with my boys Dajuan Coleman and Julius Randle, we were just joking around the whole time. I didn't play a lot of the video games because I'm a PS3 guy and they were playing XBOX, but it was just a lot of fun.

We heard that that one of the best off TV events was the Midnight Run against the NBA guys, can you share what the experience was like and who you matched up against?

Yeah, that was really good to be a part of. I went against Derrick Williams the most and I felt like I scored pretty well against him. He's so athletic that he took me out on the perimeter quite a bit and was trying to score on me in a variety of ways, but he didn't try to post me up too much.

I'm sure you had guys trying to talk to you about their schools and why you should come there, right?

Yeah, there were a few guys who were talking to me for sure. There were several guys talking about UCLA to me and how big things are happening there and another guy talking with me was Rasheed Sulaimon, he talked about Duke quite a bit.

What kind of stuff did he bring up?

Just that Duke is a great school, how much he likes them and why there's so many good things about that school. He just basically wants me to know how interested he is to have me play with him and the other guys there.

How does that approach work with you?

It's cool, I mean, guys are all going to say to you that you should come with them to their school, but I just try to keep everything equal because I have to choose for me.

Memphis is a school that's been prominently mentioned with you for awhile now. In fact you just visited there. Can you talk about how the process with them?

Memphis is the school I've probably talked with the most above any other school, they just constantly reach out to me and I've visited campus a few times. They talk a lot with me about the program and what it can do for me. They have a guy there with their program who's a trainer for them who has been an NBA Trainer who worked with a lot of post guys before, so they talk with me a lot about that.

What does the trainer talk with you about?

They talk a lot about the physical aspect of things and how they can improve my game and my body especially, so that's cool.

It sounds like Memphis is making a favorable impression at this stage, do you find yourself comparing other schools to the situation at Memphis?

No, I don't really compare them, I just try to look at getting a feel of who they are as a program on their own. I come into every school with an open mind; every situation is different and has things that are pros and cons.

Memphis has added several new assistant coaches with NBA experience, how much interaction have you had with them and what are your thoughts on NBA guys being college coaches?

Yeah, I've talked with Damon Stoudamire a lot. He just handles things real regular with me. It's kind of big that they do have guys on the staff with NBA experience, but it's not the only thing that matters.

Your parents had an opportunity to go with you on this most recent trip to Memphis, what were their impressions?

They haven't said too much to be honest. They have their own opinions but they don't really speak too much about them.

Did they have a lot of questions for the staff or did they sit back and observe?

No, they just kind of play it cool.

You also have indicated that Georgetown and UCLA are schools you are now considering, how did they come to get on the list?

Well, Georgetown's been recruiting me since the beginning, but UCLA has just gotten started with me. UCLA's been telling me a lot about their great history as a program, all the really good big men that they have had in the past and they have a good role for me because Josh Smith is probably going pro after this season.

How intriguing is that kind of pitch to come from UCLA?

Yeah, I'd say that it is intriguing to a point, but every school is going to have a spot for me I feel like because of the type of game I play.

So where does UCLA fit in when it comes to your top schools?

UCLA, well, I'd say they are knocking on the door if they are not already in when it comes to my top schools. They are a good school.

Some of the comments that you have made recently referencing Duke have been construed by the media and fans as indicating a somewhat declining interest in their program. Is there anything to that?

I don't know if I agree with that, my interest in Duke has always been strong and they have always been in my Top 3 with Memphis and Ohio State. I know the staff real well at Duke, I like their program.

Did you watch any of Duke's overseas games?

No, I didn't get a chance to watch any of them, had a lot going on.

Do you have a firm idea on where your visits are going to be? Are schools requesting specific dates for official visits with you yet?

I'm not sure yet on visits, we'll see.

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