Just going over some of the leftover stuff from the Jabari Parker announcement and I can’t get past the whole Branden Dawson issue.
Really, this is shocking to me that Parker came out and said THE reason he did not choose Michigan State was to not have to compete with Dawson. I mean, none of this makes much sense. There is no doubt the two would have played together with Dawson – very happily, I might add – moving back to the 3. Just imagine a starting five of Appling, Harris, Dawson, Parker and Payne. Think that team wouldn’t have been preseason top five?
And how unfair is this to Dawson? This is something he had nothing to do with and I’m sure some people might be looking at him differently. Also, that idea will really have to grate at Tom Izzo. Honestly, does anyone think he couldn’t have found a way to use both players?
Then Parker follows it up by saying his worst visit was to Duke and he got along great with Florida coach Billy Donovan.
So my question is, how did Duke win out? Parker talked about Michigan State being the leader in the fall and wanting to be a Spartan since he was a sophomore. He then went on about how much he loved Donovan.
The only answer can be it’s hard to turn down the aura of Duke, or maybe more importantly, the aura of Mike Krzyzewski.
There is no doubt going to Duke is perfectly logical for Parker, it’s just that based on what he said on Thursday, it makes far less sense than it would have if he didn’t answer a single question.
Another question, is this the most disappointing recruiting loss for Izzo?
That’s a hard one to answer because I’m not sure any will ever surpass not getting Chris Webber, but there’s little doubt this was a big one. Three plus years of very hard work is hard to just move on from and this will sting.
Which leads to the final question of where this team goes from here?
Izzo said early on Thursday that Michigan State likely would sign a player for 2013, but the pickings are pretty slim right now. I don’t think it would be the worst thing in the world to move on and focus on 2014.
The Spartans are in on several big-time players, including two more from Chicago. No. 1 rated Jahlil Okafor and No. 4 Cliff Alexander have both been Michigan State targets for some time and all indications are the loss of Parker has done nothing to hurt Izzo’s standing with those two players. Michigan State is also in the thick of the battle for Minneapolis point guard Tyus Jones, the No. 3-rated prospect, as well as No. 7 Kevon Looney, a forward out of Milwaukee.
Land a couple of those guys – or get crazy and add three – and any memory of Parker will have vanished.
Bottom line: Thursday was a tough day for Michigan State, but in no way does it signal anything more than a bump in the road. I guess the Spartans will have to get by with the rest of their McDonald’s All-Americans.