Jabari Parker: Predicting Which School Top Recruit Will Choose

Matt Overing@@MOveringContributor IIIDecember 13, 2012

Jabari Parker: Predicting Which School Top Recruit Will Choose

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    The date has been set. The No. 2 prospect in the 2013 class, Jabari Parker, will announce where he will play college basketball on Dec. 20, according to ESPN.

    Parker was the 2012 Gatorade Player of the Year for high school basketball. Simeon (his high school) has won three straight state championships. Number four could be on the way.

    If it weren't for a foot fracture, he would've been a key component on the USA U17 World Championship team last summer.

    Sports Illustrated gave Parker a lofty title, claiming he is "The Best High School Basketball Player Since LeBron James."

    Yep, he has credentials. Which makes his decision one of the most anticipated in college basketball. 

    He's down to five schools: BYU, Duke, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford.

    Here is my take on who has the best chance to land his services for the 2013-14 college basketball season.

5. Stanford

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    Stanford is the darkest of dark horses in the race for Jabari Parker. 

    Head coach Johnny Dawkins has kept the Stanford program respectable in his tenure. Dwight Powell and Chasson Randle make a formidable duo, and with Parker in the mix, Stanford could make a run in the NCAA tournament.

    However, Stanford has no specific advantage over any school on Parker's list. Credit Dawkins for sticking with Parker for this long. He's outlasted coaches like John Calipari and Bill Self, something that cannot be understated.

    If Parker chose to play for Stanford, it would be one of the biggest recruiting coups in recent memory.

4. Florida

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    Billy Donovan is one of the most underrated recruiters in the country.

    Two of ESPN's Top 10 prospects are headed to Gainesville next year, and Jabari Parker could be the third. Florida may be a football school in a football conference, but Donovan has kept the basketball program at an elite level.

    Out of each team on Parker's list, Florida has the most impressive 2013 class. Point guard Kasey Hill and power forward Chris Walker are both elite. But Parker would put the Florida class over the top.

    The Gators are still involved with other top recruits like Julius Randle and Dakari Johnson, whereas teams like Duke and Michigan State are all-in for Parker's services.

    In the end, however, Florida just doesn't seem like the right fit for Parker.

3. BYU

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    Jabari Parker's faith makes BYU a very strong candidate for his signature on Dec. 20. 

    Add in some fans' interesting tactics to recruit Parker, and you have a strong case to land the nation's No. 2 recruit.

    Head coach Dave Rose has quietly put together a sound recruiting class, one that could make noise in the Big Dance with Parker at the helm.

    It's still a long shot for BYU to overtake Duke and Michigan State in Parker's recruitment. But the Cougars have made it this far, and Parker isn't all about basketball. 

    Comfort off the court holds importance, and BYU may hold that advantage.

2. Michigan State

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    ESPN analyst Dave Telep says Michigan State is "1B" to Duke's "1A" in Jabari Parker's recruitment. Both programs boast two of the best coaches in college basketball, and both are among the nation's top teams each year.

    Michigan State, as mentioned previously, is all-in for Parker. Disagree? 

    ESPN says there is only one other prospect considering the Spartans in 2013. That could change when Parker commits (to Michigan State or elsewhere), but up to this point Tom Izzo has focused on bringing Parker to East Lansing.

    Parker has a unique game, one that is similar to Draymond Green's do-it-all play style. 

    Michigan State has only one graduating senior (Derrick Nix). If guys like Keith Appling, Branden Dawson and Gary Harris stick around, Izzo will have one of the most talented teams in the country with Parker on board.

    One major advantage that Michigan State has over every school on Parker's list is location. Will that be a deciding factor? 

1. Duke

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    There isn't a team in the country that is hotter than Duke right now.

    The Blue Devils have the most impressive resume in the young 2012-13 college basketball season and even more talent will be in the fold next year for Mike Krzyzewski (and let's not forget about Rodney Hood, either).

    Jabari Parker will likely be one-and-done, and playing for Coach K gives him a great chance to succeed in the 2013-14 season. 

    If Parker wants to win, Duke is the place to be.

    Let's not forget Coach K's extensive history as one of the best college coaches at putting players in the NBA. And he, like Tom Izzo, is all-in for Parker. 

    Duke has the momentum, the coach and the supporting cast to help Parker succeed.

    In the end, Parker cannot make a "wrong" choice. He's an unreal talent that will have an immediate impact on the college level, regardless of which school he chooses to attend.