Tony Parker discusses top three, new interest in UConn

Class of 2012 power forward Tony Parker (#15) has long had a similar list of schools with Duke, Ohio State and Memphis leading the pack, but recently the reigning national champions have begun recruiting Parker harder which made him take notice of Connecticut.

Parker now lists the Huskies along with Ohio State, Duke, Memphis, Texas and Kansas and says Duke, Ohio State and Memphis make up his top three.

“They’ve been recruiting me the hardest,” says Parker of his top three. “They have great basketball programs and they have great basketball atmospheres.”

The 6’9, 285-pound big man talked about why he likes each individual school in his top three and what they’re telling him. “Ohio State has really done a good job with [sophomore center] Jared Sullinger and [head coach] Thad Matta did a job with Ohio State this year,” says Parker. “They just pitch the bigs they’ve had and what they’ve done with them.”

Memphis is also using one of their big men as an example of what they can do for Parker. “Memphis is pitching their style of play. They’re really doing a good job with [sophomore forward] Tarik Black, I think he’s going to have a big year this year,” adds Parker. “They are an up-and-coming program.”

Like their counterparts, Duke is using the same strategy and talks about a couple current NBA players. Says Parker, “Duke pitches [Chicago Bull power forward] Carlos Boozer and [Philadelphia 76er power forward] Elton Brand. Duke’s team’s always seem to succeed, they’re history is just really good. “

Another thing that’s important to Parker is a school’s coaching staff, and he says one in particular sticks out to him. “My favorite coaching staff is probably [Memphis head] coach [Josh] Pastner, [assistant] coach [Jack] Murphy and [assistant] coach [Damon] Stoudamire,” says Parker.

“Those are really player’s coaches. You can talk to them about anything, it’s just easier to have a better relationship with them because you can relate to them more.”

Parker has already visited Duke and Memphis this summer and Ohio State during the school year. “They were all great visits,” says Parker, “they all have great schools and really good coaching staffs.” He’s also interested in taking a closer look at Connecticut.

“I’ll probably take visit to UConn soon,” says Parker. “They’re starting to recruit me harder. It’s a pretty good situation with [junior center] Alex Oriakhi and those guys.” Parker also says he expects Oriakhi to start recruiting him soon since the two are close and UConn just started picking up their recruitment of him.

However, another elite collegiate big man is already recruiting him. “Jared Sullinger is recruiting me hard, he’s just telling me it’s a great school and he loves the atmosphere,” says Parker. “He says they’ve been great for him and he loves Ohio State and if he didn’t he would have left. He talks about how great it is to be a player there and what it’s like to be loved by the fans.

“It’s cool that I get to talk to Sullinger and Oriahki and they reach out to me. You take what you can from them and you listen because they’re at the school and you aren’t. You listen to everything they say.”

Two other players have been talking to Parker as well. “I talk to [North Carolina sophomore point guard] Kendall Marshall a lot but North Carolina isn’t recruiting me that hard,” says Parker. “[Class of 2012 shooting guard] Rasheed Sulaimon (#14) is always on my case [too]. He’s always pitching Duke to me, always. “

With all of these recruiting pitches from coaches, college players and other high school prospects, it’s important that Parker knows what’s he’s looking for in a school. “I’m looking for an all around good school,” says Parker, “that’s a good place to play basketball, has a good environment and is a good place to learn – academics are definitely important.”

He also knows what type of system he wants to play in. “I just want a good pace and up-tempo offense because I like to run the floor,” says Parker. “A team that plays hard on defense and is a scrappy team [is something I’d like to be apart of].” Parker thinks he knows who fits into that particular style best, too.

Says Parker, “Memphis probably fits it best, Ohio State fits it second-best and Duke is probably last. Of course UConn fits perfect.”

Another thing that has affected Parker’s recruitment is the coaching carousel going around in college basketball. “The Bruce Pearl firing was big,” says Parker, “they were in my top three before that happened. Now they’re low on my list.”

Although he has been rumored to be close to a decision, Parker says that he has no timetable for his commitment and doesn’t know when he will make his decision.

*Related content: Tony Parker Interview

*Both photographs courtesy of Daryl Paunil, National Recruiting Spotlight’s photographer.

10 comments on “Tony Parker discusses top three, new interest in UConn

  1. PARKER…………come to Memphis where the fans across the entire city EAT…SLEEP…AND BREATHE BASKETBALL. There is no other competition in this city (although there is great music here as well), but the Tigers and the Grizzlies OWN the place….ask Tony Allen! So if you want the keys to a big city (well, not literally, of course, but you know what I mean)…..come let #TigerNation love on ya like none other! I’ll be checking Twitter daily for news from you TP….big guy!

  2. TP….forgot to say that you are ‘spot on’ about this coaching staff and don’t forget about the amazing trainer we have….Frank, the life changer gave Wesley Witherspoon 6-pak abs in a very short period of time….saw the pic myself on Twitter and counted them….lol. Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and please stay safe….deeluvtigers (Diane)

  3. […] Duke Links 07/18/11 1. Class of 2012 big man Tony Parker (6’9″ 250 lbs) from Lithonia, GA has added UConn to his list of schools. However, the class of 2012 post player still declares a top 3 of Duke, Ohio State, and Memphis. Link […]

  4. […] Interview Discusses Styles http://recruitingspotlight.wordpress…rest-in-uconn/ Sorry im new to posting on the site, don't know how to quote the article and cite the […]

  5. […] Who’s Got Next? ← Tony Parker discusses top three, new interest in UConn […]

  6. Tony . . . I have been following you for several months and I must say . . . you are one hellava player with definite NBA in your future, and truly one really nice guy.

    We in the Memphis Metro really HOPE you join us in a 24-7 365-day celebration of our Tigers and Grizzlies!!!

    IF you become a Tiger you will:
    1) Have support from and direct contact with NBA players (the GRIZ)
    2) Have a world-class personal trainer, FRANK Matrisciano (Google him) & (DM Black about the training).
    3) Enjoy NBA-Level coaching, PASTNER, MURPHY, & STOUDAMIRE are players’ coaches and will develop and lift you to the next level without yelling and cussing you.
    4) Play in the Forum (a 1st Class NBA arena) in front of 17600 crazed basketball fanatics.
    5) Treated like royalty by fans and business owners throughout the Metroplex (DM Baltimore’s Barton Brothers Will & Tone, Tarik Black, or any other Tiger about their experiences from the public)!

    And, the food and atmosphere in Memphis is 2nd to no other city. Heck . . . you’ve been here, you already know that big guy !

    Our team is VERY young but deadly. Our GUARDS (Jackson, A Barton, Carmouche & Crawford and our WINGS (Witherspoon, W Barton & 5-Star Adonis Thomas) will do some serious damage in March 2012 . . . and will gain valuable experience along the way.

    TONY, with you joining our bigs (Black, Hall, Simpson, Hipp) controlling the paint . . . we can go ALL THE WAY in 2013 . . . and you would become a living LEGEND forever in Memphis for bringing home its 1st NCAA Championship !

    Thanks for considering Memphis, Tony. Good luck to you wherever you play ! You are a wonderful person and a great basketball player. Regardless, I will enjoy your NBA game!


  7. LMAO on you tools making sales pitches to a high school kid to attend your school.

    1 – he’s not going to read them.
    2 – you really need to find something productive to do with your life.

    Wow. Seriously, grow up.

  8. […] the two talk a lot, he doesn’t have any more information to divulge than Parker did in our recruiting update and interview earlier this week. “All I know is his top three is Duke, Memphis and Ohio […]

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