Power forward Tony Parker has had one of the most secretive recruitments in the class of 2012. The 6’9, 273-pound big man has kept all of the recruiting analysts guessing since the beginning and many popular guesses have come and gone ranging from Ohio State and Duke to more recently UCLA and his hometown team, Georgia.
But moments ago, the Georgia native ended it and committed to UCLA over Duke, Georgia, Kansas and Ohio State. Parker joins point guard Kyle Anderson and small forwards Jordan Adams and Shabazz Muhammad in head coach Ben Howland‘s stellar 2012 recruiting class and gives them an argument to be named the top class in the country.
When comparing UCLA and Kentucky’s class of shooting guard Archie Goodwin, small forward Alex Poythress and centers Willie Cauley-Stein and Nerlens Noel, both teams have a top-two prospect, three top-20 prospects and four top-50 prospects. But to see who’s number one in our book, you’ll have to wait until we unveil our final class and prospect rankings later this week.
Parker brings a tremendous inside presence to Westwood and is someone who will be able to rebound as soon as he steps onto campus. He is an elite big man with a great skill set in the low post and has the ability to score through a variety of post moves in the paint. He can make a hook over both shoulders and is able to play facing the basket, although he’s at his best with his back to the basket.
The biggest knock on Parker has always been the same — that he’s out of shape and lacks stamina. However, the Georgia native has worked hard to dispel that notion and although he can still improve his conditioning, he’s definitely gotten better at running the court and having a better motor.
Once Parker gets to UCLA, he’ll join a crowded front court that already includes sophomore power forwards David and Travis Wear and sophomore center Josh Smith. Every single person in the UCLA’s 2012 recruiting class worked hard on recruiting Parker and Adams even predicted back in December that the Bruins would land him.