Why Jabari Parker might (or might not) pick each of the five schools on his short list

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 12 2012 11:46 a.m. MST

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2012-13 record: 8-2

Current national ranking: 19

Head coach: Tom Izzo

Number of NCAA championships: 2

Why Michigan State is the pick: Of the five schools on Parker's short list, Michigan State is closest to his Chicago home. Parker puts a lot of faith in strong head coaches (he removed Illinois and DePaul from consideration when they made coaching changes), and Izzo is one of the best in the nation. In 17 years, he has led the Spartans to six Final Fours, two title games and one national championship.

The Big Ten is a highly competitive conference, so quality opponents would not be a problem. The Spartans get plenty of national attention and regularly place their players in the NBA. Parker could follow the footsteps of Magic Johnson, Jason Richardson and Zach Randolph to East Lansing.

Also and finally, Dick Harmon says so.

Why Michigan State is not the pick: In most cases, anything Michigan State does, Duke has done better. If Parker wants a high-profile team, the Blue Devils trump the Spartans. And with so many great players in the Big Ten, it may be harder for Parker to stand out.
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Lehi, UT

"Stanford is by far the best academic institution out of the five schools..."



Stanford is perhaps marginally better than Duke. Perhaps. Here are their SAT scores (25% & 75%):

•Test Scores -- 25th / 75th Percentile
•SAT Critical Reading: 660 / 750
•SAT Math: 690 / 780
•SAT Writing: 670 / 770

•Test Scores -- 25th / 75th Percentile
•SAT Critical Reading: 670 / 770
•SAT Math: 690 / 780
•SAT Writing: 680 / 780

SLIGHTLY better. Certainly not better "by far"

Grand Rocks
Over there, UT

Funny to me that they say a con for duke is because its so far away. Ha it's the closest behind mich st. There are no cons to playing at duke. This kid will get all the playing time he wants just like kyrie Irving and Austin rivers did. There is no question he will have the spotlight and the coverage on espn.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA


The true measure of which school is truly the best academic institution is not how good the kids are when they enter, it's how good they are when they leave. You're comparing the schools based on who enters, not who leaves.

If you were to look at Duke vs. Stanford grads based on success in the business and professional world, you would see that Stanford IS by far the best academic institution on his list.

Burke, VA

This notion of "not being able to stand out" seems silly since he is the most sought after player in the nation. Surely he would start as a freshman on whatecver team he chooses. And being from Chicago, the only team that isn't far from home would be Michigan State - hardly a reason to make such an important decision. And by the way, don't brush aside the academic quality of Michigan State, they're pretty well qualified in that category.

Lehi, UT


According to US News' rankings, they are #6 & #7 in the US. Seeing that they are one spot away in the rankings, out of 2400 (+/-) 4 year schools in the US, SAT scores show they're close. US News shows they're closer. I'll stand by my initial assessment and say that Stanford is not "by far" better.

(And to be clear - the US News rankings are from polling academic and industry sources about the quality of an institution and its graduates.)

Madison, SD

Can't think of one good basketball reason he would choose BYU over Duke and MSU. But he's too smart to put BYU in his final five out of courtesy. He may surprise us all.

South Jordan, UT

Well, with all due to respect to Duke and Stanford, if anybody wants the most liberal leaning education from the list of five, these two would vie for the top spot. Duke has a degree in Marxism, for example.

Sandy, UT

Maryland will NOT be in the ACC by the time he would attend Duke.

Sandy, UT

@statman. I think you are taking a very limited view of the overall college experience. Stanford is a leading institution in ALL areas of academics, particularly at the graduate level. Duke is a great school and produces some great students but it's not comparable to the type of atmosphere that Stanford generates where a high percentage of those attending are in programs that across the board are near the top nationally. Aside from the academics, Stanford also excels in most NCAA sports so you have a unique combination of having a strong concentration of leading student athletes as well, far exceeding anything that the other universities would offer, although would be second among his group. I haven't seen the data behind this but I have to assume when a student is accepted to both institutions (Stanford and Duke), the vast majority choose Stanford, which is a simple yet good indicator of perception and in this case reality as well.

East Salt Lake City, Utah


It's not how hard it is to get into a school, it's what the degree you earn helps build:

Stanford graduates built Silicon Valley.

No idea what Duke graduates built.

Jabari will be playing in the NBA regardless of which school he picks so Standford education overall all the rest.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Too much pressure."
"Hard to stand out."
"Easier to excel."
"More exposure"
"High quality education may not matter"

Not exactly a list of qualifications a winner, a champion, someone who wants to excel would make. He WANTS pressure, competition and to excel and from everything ever written about him except this article, education matters to him.

Exposure? You think NBA scouts won't be at EVERY game Jabari plays no matter where he goes? He was National POY. They know who he is and they'll go where he is. If Jabari went straight to the draft he'd be a first round pick right now, top 10 or higher. It is just a matter of which team he fits, or which draws the frozen envelope.

DEW Cougars
Sandy, UT

Just come to BYU and Dave Rose will get you in as a starter every games. There will be a lot of tv for Jarbari parents to see including world wide - BYUtv, espn and some major network. Your relatives will be there to see you up front. And BYU is your home.

Go Big Blue!!!
Bountiful, UT

A chance to play for it all in the NCAA tournament. Jabari will pick the school that gives him the best opportunity to be the best playing against the best. I doubt that will be a school in the Wasatch Front.

Ogden, UT

It'd be awesome if he picked the Y, but in reality I think he chooses Michigan State or Duke (in that order.) I would love to be surprised however.

Farmington, UT

I'm thinking that the DesNews has far too many sportswriters when we get an article that talks about which school a player might (or might not) chose.

Here's a few more ideas if you just need to fill column inches in the news paper, NONE of which are news at this point:

What food might or might not make you sick; be tasty; cost more; cost less.

The USA might or might not fall over the fiscal cliff; address illegal immigration; pass a budget; doing something that the American People would benefit from having done; or improve their ratings with voters.

The media might or might not begin to write actual news stories and get out of the "speculation" business.

You get the drift.

South Jordan, utah

Did it occur to anyone that this kid is not going to college to learn, he is going to play basketball. There is almost a zero chance of him ever getting a degree, at least pre career. I am not even sure that he makes it to college. I would not be shocked if he elected a mission for the year or two before the NBA. He may announce he is going somewhere like BYU, but do not get to excited. He may never play college ball and if he does, it is one and out.

Great young man though! I hope his career is a bright as everyone thinks it will be.

Durham, NC

I would love to see him come to Duke. The arguments about which school academically is better is, well, academic. Both schools are top ten. Both schools out rank each other in the differing parts of their graduate programs. Both pull students heavily from around the world. Academically, the schools are mirrors of each other. Any differences are nuanced, not big by any measure. What any person earns differently coming from either school is up to that person, not which school is on their CV\Resume.

So if earning power is the main factor, Duke wins hands down. Duke has placed far more players than Stanford. Dawkins himself is a Duke former player and assistant coach under Coach K. But if it were that simple, it would be a done deal. Parker will succeed anywhere he goes, if he is in the right system. I am just hoping that is Duke, but will be happy for him where ever.

Summerville, SC

I think if you look at the talent coming into byu, and had a good time spending time with those students, when he made his visit. Sometimes good visits and good friends will make it worth it.

kearns, UT

After seeing how the Manti thing worked out, I doubt he chooses BYU. In a way, I'd be relieved if he chose somewhere else to spare him from "some of us". As an alum, Ive been disgusted with how "some" of our fan base disrespect those who have donated years off of their bodies only to be trashed by us....ie Riley, StaleyGC, the entire offensive line. Now I'm pretty sure other school fan bases offer similar treatment particularly when the bar is set so high and then not met. However, this way both JP, his family, and fans at BYU can have mutual respect for each other. Best of luck to Jabari.

Uncle Rico Coug

So Duke and Stanford have great academics...so what? For most of us that's important. But for Jabari, he will have a long and fruitful NBA career making millions. I thought that's what getting an education is all about...giving yourself the chance at making a good living? After a couple years in college he'll get the rest of his education at the University of NBA.

Whoa Nellie
American Fork, UT

I would bet BYU has the best offering in what matters most. Base your choice on what's important in life: ice cream.

Mission Viejo, CA

I don't see why I should care where Parker spends his single year in college. One-and-done is a waste of a scholarship. Most NBA players are stone broke a few years after they leave the NBA. Parker seems to have some sense, but one-and-done is a contra-indication. Far better for him to actually get a college degree before turning pro. Children in the NBA are just targets for the moochers and shysters. And yes, he could get a college degree after an NBA career. Will he?

Why a discussion about academics? Freshman classes in any of his choices will be the same. Only in upper division and grad school do the distinctions about academics matter. 1 and Done? Go to any east coast school for the year. Florida would be great. No significant academics there and party city. Duke? Stanford? BYU? He'll get eaten up in the competitive atmospheres of those schools.

Taylorsville, UT

Stanford is a big deal out West, but Duke has a better reputation on the East Coast - particularly in New York City and Washington D.C. Stanford offers a terrific education, and is indeed highly ranked across the board. But the same can be said of Duke. Any differences between the two are marginal at best - including success in the professional ranks.

Most importantly, Duke's basketball program is far and away more successful than the Cardinal could ever imagine. One could argue that even BYU has more basketball tradition than Stanford. Sure, Stanford is great a whole of bunch of sports that nobody cares about, but that probably doesn't mean much to Jabari Parker. Advantage: Duke

Lightening Lad
Austin , TX

The Tale of the Tape- I included the tuition figures there is a reason the top two are so good given small student body and high costs. I have learned by experience that any article involving BYU athletics has more Utah detractors than BYU fans, hence I felt I needed to include info on the U, involved or not.

Tuition and fees: $41,787
Enrollment: 6,988
Setting: suburban
#6 Stanford University

Tuition and fees: $43,623
Enrollment: 6,680
Setting: suburban
#8 Duke University

In-state tuition and fees: $5,656
Out-of-state tuition and fees: $27,933
Enrollment: 32,598
Setting: suburban
#54 University of Florida

Tuition and fees: $4,710
Enrollment: 30,684
Setting: city
#68 Brigham Young University--Provo

In-state tuition and fees: $12,203
Out-of-state tuition and fees: $31,148 
Enrollment: 36,675
Setting: suburban
#72 Michigan State University

In-state tuition and fees: $7,212
Out-of-state tuition and fees: $22,912
Enrollment: 24,297
Setting: urban
#125 University of Utah

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