In the days leading up to Jabari Parker’s long-awaited college announcement, everyone, including those closest to Parker, remains in the dark about his future destination. Even the Simeon Academy star himself admits he hasn’t made up his mind.
Parker’s family has circled the wagons when approached with questions related to his recruitment. As a result, usually reliable recruiting sources have been reduced to educated guessing, left to piece together and make sense of the few bread crumbs Parker has scattered.
Simply put, no one knows where Parker will end up, but that hasn’t stopped several people with unique ties to Parker and/or his recruitment from sharing what they forecast.
Two Chicago-based recruiting sources on the periphery of the recruitment are split on where they think the Windy City phenom will land. One source, who predicted Michigan State when pressed for his opinion in October, has since flip-flopped to Duke, citing the Blue Devils’ impressive start to the season as well as the team’s visibly strong chemistry as major boons in their favor. Opines the source: “Jabari has definitely noticed how well this team plays together, which is important to him, very important. He understands how easy he’d transition at Duke next season were he to go there.”
The other area source, who also predicted the Spartans earlier this fall, still believes Tom Izzo’s team is the one to beat because of the Big Ten’s proximity to Parker’s Chicago home. Says that source: “The Parker family is close-knit and hopes to watch Jabari in-person as much as possible. The geography of Michigan State and the Big Ten as a conference gives the Parker family the most opportunities to watch him play without taxing travel. I don’t think he favors one coach over the other, they’re both great, so location might be the trump card.”