Jabari Watch: Parker's Simeon high school drops out of No. 1 national ranking after losing last week
Jabari Parker's Chicago Simeon Career Academy dropped out of the No. 1 ranking in the country Monday, four days after the Illinois school lost at DeSoto (Texas) High School 67-57.
The televised game Thursday featured some of the nation's top college basketball prospects. Parker — rated the No. 1 prospect in the country, according to some, and No. 2 prospect, according to others, is returning from a broken foot he sustained in the summer — scored just five points in the loss.
Meanwhile, DeSoto guard Matt Jones, who has agreed to play for Duke, scored 23 points to help knock off Simeon, which was ranked No. 1 by ESPN at the time.
Heading into the fourth quarter, Simeon trailed. They were able to score seven points in the first minute of the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 43-36, but the run was answered by an 11-0 spurt by DeSoto.
Simeon never recovered.
Multiple players fell short in the loss, but Simeon's Kendall Pollard played well. He scored 10 points, including seven in the final minute, as Simeon desperately tried to get back in the game.
"Right now, Kendall Pollard is our best player," Simeon head coach Robert Smith told the Chicago Tribune. "Guys have to step up and reach his level. He's out there defending, rebounding, blocking shots, making plays. It's a plus for us when Jabari (Parker) gets healthy."
Parker's injury has prevented him from making the type of plays he frequently made before his foot injury. The game against DeSoto was just his second since the summertime injury. In addition to being almost nonexistent on the scoreboard, Parker was called for travelling five times.
"Jabari right now has to understand he's not able to do all of the stuff he's capable of doing before the injury. I think after last night he realized it. I think Saturday you'll see a different Jabari. It's a lot on him right now, but I told him last night, this is part of it. But he'll be OK," Smith told the Tribune.
Simeon went on to Arlington, Tenn. to take on Arlington High School two days later. Simeon was able to pull off a 55-44 win, thanks in large part to sophomore Edward Morrow. The 6-foot-7 Morrow had 18 points and eight rebounds in just his third varsity game.
The team's two biggest stars, Kendrick Nunn and Parker, combined for just 11 points in the first half. Simeon's coach Smith put in the bench players for the second half because Parker and Nunn "weren't giving us anything at that point," he told the Tribune.
The win over Arlington lifted Simeon to a 2-1 record on the season.
Parker, the 6-8 All-American and 2012 National Player of the Year is set to announce Dec. 20, where he'll play college basketball.
Many people believe Parker will choose Michigan State or Duke, but BYU, Stanford and Florida are also in his final five.
Tom Izzo and Mike Krzyzewski, the head coaches of Michigan State and Duke, were both in attendance at Simeon's game against DeSoto in Texas.
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