One on one with Jabari Parker

The nation's top overall player in the class of 2013 recaps his in-home visits and looks ahead to the next steps in his recruitment.

TDD: How does it feel to be finished with the in-home visit portion of the process?

Jabari Parker: It's been a pretty long process, but it's also been really good for me.

It was reported yesterday that you added Connecticut to your list. What prompted the change?

I'd always been interested in UConn as a school, and it's just one of those things that I didn't know enough about them. I didn't know if they were going to be eligible for the tournament. But, now that I know they are eligible, and if I went there I would be able to play in the NCAAs, that's something to consider. I was always a fan of them growing up . I had wanted to play for Coach Calhoun, but he retired, and that was hard. But seeing Kevin Ollie, and how he's been treated in the NBA,and how great of a guy he is, it made me want to consider them closer.

Sounds like he's made an immediate, positive impact with you.

He's a mature guy, who is easy to talk to. He tells you the truth, and he's very honest and smart about it all.

Your parents have always indicated that you are very methodical in your recruitment, and won't make a move until you're ready. With that considered, what made you ready to take in-home visits?

Honestly, I just thought it was time. I don't have a lot of insights in the programs, so getting them in my hope helped me get a better outlook on each of them, and it helped me get a little more comfortable with the recruiting process.

What did you do to prepare for the in-homes?

Going into it I didn't think they were too important, but it was kind of important so I could get to know them personally. It also helps me find out what schools had their mind right and it helps me narrow down the choices in my mind. What do you mean by a school who has their "mind right"?

Just that a school where I know I can be developed as a player. What's most important with the schools as far as they see me in terms of development.

Lot of people think you are NBA ready already. In your mind, how do you think you need to be developed?

You can never be too good as a player, especially with your fundamentals. Learning to be a better student of the game … I think college offers that, and it'll help me have a better IQ and feel for the game with film and studying and taking the time to get better as a player.

What were the school's pitch to you? Anybody stand out as really different?

Most schools had a different pitch for sure. They each have their own philosophies and way they play, so that was good to learn about each of them in their own way.

Do you have any examples of pitches that gave you a positive impression?

No, it's really hard to remember all of them since they are so spread out and there's so many schools. It's a lot to take in and process.

Anybody you feel like you have a better connection with now as opposed to before the in-home?

I would say Coach Donovan. I really didn't know him all that well before the visit, and Ii enjoyed being around him. He was straight to business, just telling me a lot of things i need to work on, giving me more insight on Florida that i didn't know about.

Like what?

The campus and how close the dorms are to where classes are. Also, the team facilities. He was just telling me about their style of play. I like their style of play, they run transition and secondary offense, I liked that a lot.

What did Coach Donovan point out to you how he felt you could improve as a player?

Making sure I take advantage of every single possession, and finding different ways to make easier moves and being more decisive on the court.

Were the schools pitching you more on how you would be used within their system or were they emphasizing how they would develop you individually?

They mostly talked about my role in their system.

Were all the schools saying you'd play primarily as a big wing or did anybody indicate you'd have other responsibilities as a player?

Some definitely talked about my role including being in the post some and all over the court. Then, some others said i'd be a big wing.

Which schools indicated you'd be asked to play all over the court including some post responsibilities?

It wasn't just one, and everyone talked about how I'd play all over. They really talked about versatility.

This week you had Michigan State, North Carolina and Duke setup for in-homes, but UNC had to cancel due to Coach Williams' surgery. Have they have attempted to set a date to re-schedule?

No not yet.

What were your observations of Coach Izzo and Coach K after hosting them?

They are both similar in a lot of ways. They are at the point in their careers that they do what they do for the love of the game, but they did point out how they could use me, and they'll take advantage of me if I go there.

What do you mean by take advantage of you?

Just how they would utilize my skill set. They would play me all over the court, and would build their system around me. They didn't explain what the system would be if i went there, but we'd talk more about that if I go on a visit there.

Did they compare you to past players?

Coach K compared me to Luol Deng. Coach Izzo compared me to Steve Smith.

Did either coach indicate that playing all over the court meant you'd play in the post any?

Yeah, that's part of them indicating that i would play multiple positions, and I don't care. I feel like playing some in the post would be part of my role wherever I go. It's not a big deal at all, because I play post for my high school team. It helps you become more versatile.

If you had to draw up a role for yourself at the next level, what would it be?

I think playing kind of on the perimeter and doing some in the post too. Of course, you never really know what's best until it actually happens and you play in that style.

How did everyone else interact with Coach K and Coach Izzo?

I thought both of them got along very well with everybody. Both my parents seemed very interested in what they were saying, but my parents are still at a point where they are cool with letting me choose and making my own decision.

Both coaches are known for being fiery in-game coaches. Does that translate into sit down visits with them?

They are both pretty much the same when you talk to them one on one. With both of them it's what you see is what you get. Both of them are very passionate and that's what I like about them the most. I've got a pretty good relationship with both of them, and they've known me for a long time. I pretty comfortable with both of them.

For a while the national buzz has been that Michigan State and Duke have been near the top of your list. Is that just conjecture?

I don't know where people come up with stuff like that. Both schools have been recruiting me for a really long time, and I'm very interested in them. But, at the same time, I'm interested in other schools just as much.

In any of your visits, did the coaches talk about the rest of their 2013 classes and how you fit in with them?

Nobody really did that in our talks, we mainly just talked about the current roster and who was going to be there when I got there.

What did schools say about student life?

Michigan State talked about their diversity and how they think I could fit in well on their campus. With Duke, they have real intense fans, but during school days, they treat you like a normal person.

Your mom indicated previously that what the schools do to protect the players, and how they structure life is a big deal to her. How did the coaches cover that subject.

Nobody really talked a lot about that on the visits, but I do know the schools try to do a good job of protecting you so that you can be a normal college student during your time there.

Did anyone talk about media attention and exposure?

Not really. I think everyone of them are pretty much on television all the time, so it's not a big factor.

Did you learn anything over the last 10 days or so that solidified your desire to visit any of the schools officially?

Not yet. I still have some more visits to go, and then my family and I are going to sit down and figure some things out, and then we'll go from there.

Have you thought about the kind of things you're going to consider when deciding on official visits?

I'm going to really look at the people around the team and those at the school. I want to look at the coaches, the style of play, how nice the campus is, and stuff like that.

Are you thinking of a relatively quick turn around between the end of the in-homes and the time you'll start planning and taking official visits?

No, I think I really want to take my time. It's like with my injury, I knew I had to take my time and really get things right. When it comes to this decision, I really just want to get it right and take my time to make sure I do.

Recently it was reported that you would look to decide early. Is that accurate?

No, well, I would like to commit early, but I think it'll probably be around December or January. I'm not going to be signing in the early period, though.

What's the thinking behind committing in the middle of the season, and then waiting until April to sign?

I think it's about getting it out of the way, so people can stop sweating me about it. I don't want the attention on me all the time. That's not me.

So, moving forward, what next on your 'to do' list?

Connecticut is coming in at some point in the next week, and with North Carolina, well, we're going to look to reschedule sometime either next week or the week after. Honestly, at this point I'm not really sure there.

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