Tony Parker to Announce Decision Monday

Written April 20th, 2012 by Joe Dexter

It looks like another date has been set in the Tony Parker sweepstakes. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Michael Carvell, the Four time Georgia State Champion was set to make a decision sometime today. Miller Grove head coach Sharman White told the paper last Sunday that the top 25 ranked recruit is ready to make his decision and end the process.

Yet again though, we’ll have to wait even further than expected.

At this point, Parker and his family say that they will let the world know where to expect arguably the best 0ffensive big man in this class to land on Monday.  Many speculate it’s because The Georgia product has soured on UCLA and is looking at Kansas and Duke more and more as his decision looms. High school head coach Sharman White shared this with folks on Wednesday through the Atlanta Journal constitution.

“Tony and his family just wanted a little more time. That way, they will get the weekend to hammer it out. No official time has been set but it will likely be around 3:30 or 4 p.m.”

Parker, who had planned to announce his school of choice at the start of the signing period, has narrowed it down to UCLA, Georgia, Duke, Kansas and Ohio State.

What Parker Adds to the Buckeyes

Though there is a slim chance he selects Ohio State as his home for the next few years, there is no reason not to be optimistic and take a look at what he brings to the table. If there is a guy in this class that can nearly match the production of Jared Sullinger in all assets of the game, it’s Tony Parker.

Sure, Nerlens Noel is way more aggressive defensively, and DuJuan Coleman might have a stronger post presence, but Parker is the total package.

Like Jared Sullinger, Parker is a compact big man with good touch outside and a decent wingspan. At 6’9″ he actually does a good job on the defensive side of the court matching up with bigger players. Like Sullinger, he has great hands when handling and dishing the basketball. His 6’11″ span helps him get over defenders with so many post moves and ways to score. He also possesses great touch when facing the hoop from 15′. Right away, he would fit the Sullinger mold in the paint and would start over Amir Williams or Evan Ravenel.

If there is a weakness, it’s the fact that he physically doesn’t have enough in the tank to battle through the trenches for a whole game (at least that’s what the scouts say). He has some baby fat to trim off his frame, but nothing major. With the physicality of Ravenel and defensive ability of Amir Williams, it’d probably be good to phase him into the system, while giving more forwards playing time. I honestly think that this is something that is a bit over sold. In the McDonald’s All-American Game we got a view of that. Offensively, he scores in spirts and does it often. With 10 points in fifteen minutes, 2 blocks and s7 rebounds, the buzz of his game caught the eye of the nation.

Yet still, scouts and basketball minds believe that he hasn’t yet given it his all, and turned the dial all the way up on the glass. There are times where he does get lackadaisical, but who wouldn’t when there is simply no competition that can play at your level? Parker will be a beast whether he ends up in Columbus, Durham, Memphis, or Lawrence.

The Backup Plan

So what do you do with 4 open scholarships if Tony Parker decides to skate on a different pond hoop elsewhere? Believe it or not, playing a year with low numbers wouldn’t be a bad thing for the program. We all know Thad Matta’s desire to stick with a small rotation. We know that means guys like LaQuinton Ross, Shannon Scott, and Amir Williams are going to see significant time. If 8 of the 11 players on scholarship see playing time, then the program is taking a step in the right direction.

Then they head into the class of 2013 with a very talented athlete in Marc Loving and 5 more open scholarships (assuming Deshaun Thomas decides to go pro). Coming up next week on my new featured Recruiting report, we’ll break down the 2013 class a bit closer. There is a ton of talent that’s considering Ohio State.  The coaching staff has already offered scholarships to three different power forwards.

Having this flexibility still opens up the door for transfers as well. There hasn’t been any movement on that front, but it at least gives coach Matta the option to offer to incoming athletes from different schools.

Amedeo Della Valle Visits Campus, Hood and Gill Too?

After things soured with Michigan, Amedeo Della Valle has become more interested in Ohio State. The Italy native and current Nevada guard has visited campus on Tuesday and was hosted by the Ohio State coaching staff. The teammate of top ten 2012 classmate Anthony Bennett has some great vision, footwork, and dribbling ability. The one thing though that makes him a player to watch is his ability on the defensive end. He plays a Lenzelle Smith type of game on the defensive side of the floor. He has good range, can drive to the hoop and has a decent jump shot. He can also play the point or off guard. He has a scholarship offer from Ohio State, and could be the only member of the 2012 class.

Former Mississippi State guard Rodney Hood is also expected to visit Columbus sometime soon. His father told the Dispatch that Ohio State is on the list of possible suitors and that they plan to visit the university.

Former South Carolina Power Forward Anthony Gill will also visit Columbus this weekend. If you remember, he had a great second half against the Buckeyes early in the season. He has narrowed down his next home to Ohio State or Virginia. After this weekend’s visit, he plans to decide between the two schools.


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