Thursday, April 12, 2012
Could we really stand a chance with Tony Parker?
We've been over this before, Georgia has a good sales pitch. And Mark Fox has apparently been relentless with it, which may finally be paying off. We can sell immmediate playing time. With a role needed to be filled that he fits perfectly. And a system well designed to showcase his talent. For the coach some rate as the best developer of talent and a proven producer of NBA talent. Close to home. With several friends and former teammates. On a grand stage with lots of television and scout exposure. With another elite talent on the floor. And the chance to go down as a signature star of the program instead of at best another rung on the ladder. But could it actually work? No one really imagined as much, but we kept at it, and others may be falling by the wayside. Georgia has it's negatives (mainly fan support and atmosphere), but that can change in a hurry with a winner. We've also got a lot of pluses too, so let's look at some of our competitors negatives. The true contenders all along have been Duke, Ohio St, Kansas and UCLA. Georgetown gets mentioned, although they always seem quickly dismissed. And Memphis has some positives, and could be the darakhorse here. Duke: He has admitted concerns with getting big man coaching from a scrappy PG (Wojo). Their big man development, while not bad with Zoubek or Shelden Williams, hasn't produced an NBA caliber starter since Elton Brand though (whose games seems similar to Parker's). Plus, with two Plumlee's returning, and a SR Ryan Kelley, the opportunity for immediate playing time isn't strong and may relegate him to bench role player for a while. Is Parker willing to sit behind a couple pasty white boys before showing his stuff when he could be getting a featured role for 30 minutes a night in Athens? Ohio St: Long thought to be the leader here, but reports have them falling off. With the poker face he's played, I wouldn't be surprised if that was a ruse and the Buckeyes are ultimately the choice. Thad Matta has recruited well, they win, produce big time players, and have a spot open with the vacating (and similar skilled) JJ Sullinger. I've long felt they'd be the choice, but if those reports are true, then it's not happening, which definitely is a boost to our chances. Kansas: Have the atmosphere, and if Withey goes pro, the playing time available. Bill Self has done a good job producing players, and their atmosphere is a huge draw. Another huge draw was Danny Manning, who's gone to Tulsa. While this may not hurt Kansas, it can't help, and Parker delaying his announcement may be a sign that he wants to see how the Jayhawks replace Manning before making a decision. UCLA: Has the Wear twins, and Josh Smith, among others occupying his playing time. It's way on the other side of the country, and the coaching staff is in a make or break year so you may not ever start for them. The distance from home, uncertainty around the coaches after repeated disappointing seasons, and their lack of producing anything of note since Love and Westbrook left town, in addition to a loaded depth chart, make them seem very unlikely. Memphis: Not the flashy name of the top 4, but a big time program. Pastner can recruit with the best of them, and they have the talent to make a run, but not so much it impacts playing time. They are a sneaky possibility, with negatives being Pastner hasn't exactly proven himself as a floor coach or developer of players, and then there's the violence and Lorenzen Wright thing that got a lot of play in the Atlanta area over the past year. Parker delayed an expected announcement yesterday, and appears to be smartly waiting things out. He's had more than long enough to compile info on all his contenders, so why the delay? Could it be he's waiting on a Manning replacement? Or seeing what happens with some players debating going pro? The longer this thing drags on, the longer those other programs can have some negatives pop up and let us make a late push past them. We may actually land Tony Parker! Now if we can just add a perimeter weapon to help utilize him. KCP is a good one, but we've got plenty of bodies for the front court, and a huge question mark on the outside. As much as landing Parker would be a huge deal, in part because of his immense talent, and in part because of the sign to Atlanta area talent that Fox is ready to get this party started, I want a perimeter threat as much if not more so.