Jabari Parker comes to town today

One of the last official visits put on by the Duke coaching staff starts today as the nation's top overall prospect, Jabari Parker, will make his way to Durham.

Parker has reduced the number of schools under consideration to Duke, BYU, Michigan State, Florida, Stanford, and Connecticut. The Huskies are the most recent addition, and joined the throng of high majors on the strength of Parker's relationship with new head coach Kevin Ollie.

"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," Parker told TDD of the late addition. "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."

The Parker recruitment has long been thought to have the Blue Devils and Spartans considered as the top two - sometimes as co-leaders. Other times with one school or the other nosing ahead. And while Parker won't confirm there is a hierarchy at this point, he was quick to note that he has a special relationship with both head coaches.

"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 my skill set. Both have said they would play me all over the court, and would build their teams around me."

One of the pitches for Duke has been the freedom allowed citing former Blue Devils such as Luol Deng, Shane Battier, and Grant Hill. It's something Parker has acknowledged he'll be focused on when decision times comes.

"I look at players they've had in the past and how they were able to be successful and what led them to be successful in the NBA."

So what's he going to focus on as he begins his 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, and how nice the campus is."

Parker is expected to take official visits to Florida, Stanford, and BYU on successive weekends beginning November 2. A decision is not expected until the start of the new year.


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