Tony Parker: Why Duke Should Be Terrified Kansas Will Steal Prized Recruit

Jessica Marie@ItsMsJisnerCorrespondent IIApril 11, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 28: Tony Parker #32 of the East team moves along the baseline past Brandon Ashley #10 of the West team during the 2012 McDonald's All American Game at United Center on March 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Tony Parker will probably end up at Duke, UCLA, Georgia or Kansas.

Duke is still the favorite. Georgia is still a dark horse because it's close to home and Parker's high school teammates will be playing alongside him, should he choose to go there.

But it's clear that Parker is perhaps most impressed by Kansas, and given the Jayhawks' run to the NCAA title game, he's probably even more amped on the idea of playing there than he was when he visited in February.

The 6'9" center from Lithonia, Ga. is still uncommitted, and though he is unlikely to sign on Wednesday, he is expected to narrow down his decision from a pool that includes Duke, Georgia, Kansas, UCLA, Ohio State, Georgetown and Memphis.

The Jayhawks are still considered a long shot to land the recruit, but you wouldn't know it by the way Parker talked about the school after he visited. ESPN.com's Jason Jordan wrote a lengthy piece that detailed Parker's selection process and included input from his family members, and Parker seemed enamored with the atmosphere surrounding the Jayhawks' storied basketball program.

Jordan wrote: 

It's obvious that Parker is high on the Jayhawks; he's like a kid reeling off his wish list for Christmas. It's almost as if he has rehearsed this spiel on what he likes about them.

He talks about the offensive sets, his love for all things Andrea Hudy, the focus on getting the ball inside and then there are the fans.

"They're insane," Parker said. "Being at the game there was indescribable."

"Atmosphere isn't something that would impress me," Hazel said.

"This isn't an atmosphere," Parker said. "This place is like a cult or a religion."

There are some concerns, however, regarding Parker's potential future with the Jayhawks. One is that Bill Self's recruiting class is expected to include three post players, with whom Parker would likely have to compete for a starting job.

Parker insists that won't sway him from choosing Kansas, telling Jordan, "It's not that big a deal to me. But you've got to consider it."

Likely, Parker is also considering the fact that he—and the rest of his recruiting class—could be the missing pieces for a team that made a run to the Final Four in 2012. He saw what Kentucky did with a roster largely made up of inexperienced freshmen. He saw that a young team with unstoppable talent can win a championship.

Judging from the way things went down in this year's postseason, Kansas has the best chance of winning a championship in the short-term of all the schools Parker is considering. Against Kentucky in this year's title game, Kansas was missing players who could stop Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

It is very possible that Parker is one of those missing players. Parker could help Kansas win a championship right away, especially if the rest of the Jayhawks' recruiting class is as strong as the experts are insisting it is.

The history at Duke and UCLA is compelling, and being close to home at Georgia is tempting. But a chance to win a national title trumps all of that, which is why Kansas might have a better chance of landing Parker than anyone believes. 

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