Tony Parker, a consensus Top 20 basketball player, is expected to make his college decision on Monday and is deciding between Duke, Georgia, UCLA, Kansas, Ohio State, and Memphis.
The 6-foot-9, 280-pound Atlanta native has kept a low profile regarding his decision, but a source, speaking on background, said that UCLA is the favorite to land the highly-talented big man.
Bruinsball.com, a UCLA-specific website, confirmed that news on Sunday night when it reported that Parker is going to sign with UCLA. While nothing is ever 100% in the recruiting game, I cap it at 90% that Parker will be a Bruin, 9% that he will head to Georgia to stay close to home, and 1% that he will choose elsewhere.
The addition of Parker is huge for UCLA and coach Ben Howland. The Bruins recently landed forward Shabazz Muhammad, the No. 2 player in the country according to 247Sports, to go along with Kyle Anderson, a consensus Top 10 recruit, and Jordan Adams, a Top 100 recruit. The addition of Muhammad gave UCLA the No. 2 recruiting class in the country, according to ESPN, while adding Parker could push them to the top.
Adding another blue-chipper like Parker should eliminate a lot of the chatter regarding Howland's job security after a Sports Illustrated expose highlighted issues within the program. The SI piece indicated that Howland played favorites on his team and it led to major chemistry problems within the locker room.
If Parker heads to UCLA, as expected, it also marks major disappointment for some of the other teams involved. Duke is in need of another big man with Miles Plumlee graduating; Ohio State needs a replacement for Jared Sullinger; Kansas needs the same with Thomas Robinson leaving early for the draft; and Georgia would have gotten its highest rated big man in decades.
Parker will make his announcement at 4 p.m. EST and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution will have live coverage of the event.