Where will Jabari go?

That question has kept college hoops fans in suspense for months, as the highly touted recruit made official visits to each of the five schools on his short list. But that suspense will soon be over, as Parker announced today that he will make his decision on Dec. 20.

So in the meantime, we're taking a look at what each school — Duke, Michigan State, Stanford, Florida and BYU — has to offer, and why Jabari might (or might not) pick each one.


2012-13 record: 9-0

Current national ranking: 2

Head coach: Mike Krzyzewski

Number of NCAA championships: 4

Why Duke is the pick: Few programs can claim the yearly success and pedigree that Duke has exhibited. Legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski has won more games than any coach in the history of the sport. Eleven former Blue Devils have been top-10 NBA draft picks, and 23 have been first-rounders.

At Duke, Parker would play against the very best that college basketball has to offer, including conference games against North Carolina, North Carolina State, Maryland and more. He'd be part of a high-profile team that would help him showcase his talent. And he might win a national championship while he's at it.

Why Duke is not the pick: With so many quality players on the roster, Parker might not play right away. Facing off against so many difficult opponents could make it harder for him to stand out and excel. Duke is also a long way from Parker's home of Chicago.

Michigan State

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.


2012-13 record: 7-0

Current national ranking: 5

Head coach: Billy Donovan

Number of NCAA championships: 2

Why Florida is the pick: The Gators have been one of the surprises of the last 15 years in college basketball. Football gets the lion's share of attention in Gainesville, but since coach Billy Donovan came aboard in 1996, Florida has won two national titles and reached the Elite Eight or better five times. No other team has won back-to-back championships with the same starting lineup, as the Gators did in 2006 and 2007. Three of those players -- Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Joakim Noah -- were top-10 NBA draft picks in 2007, the first time three top-10 picks have come from the same school in the same year.

By joining Florida, Parker would face quality SEC opponents like Kentucky and Tennessee. Under Donovan, the Gators have a strong national profile and are well respected in the media and among NBA scouts. They are known for balanced, team-oriented basketball, something Parker values.

Why Florida is not the pick: Duke and Michigan State surpass most of the advantages Florida offers. The Gators do not have the same pedigree as a program that the Blue Devils do. They've only been competitive for a relatively short period and their success may not hold.


2012-13 record: 6-3

Current national ranking: Not ranked

Head coach: Johnny Dawkins

Number of NCAA championships: 1

Why Stanford is the pick: Stanford is by far the best academic institution out of the five schools on Parker's list. They often challenge for the Pac-12 title and have placed 10 players in the NBA since 2000, including Brook and Robin Lopez. Stanford also has many Mormon alumni, including former Cardinal player Mark Madsen. In 2011-12, coach Johnny Dawkins led the Cardinal to a 26-11 record and the NIT championship.

It would be easier for Parker to take a starring role at Stanford. The Pac-12 gets its fair share of attention without the high expectations or pressure of Duke or Michigan State.

Why Stanford is not the pick: Aside from BYU, Stanford's basketball program is the least prestigious of the other four schools. The Pac-12 does not have the caliber of competition that the ACC (Duke) and Big Ten (Michigan State) do. The high quality of education at Stanford may not matter if Parker leaves school early for the NBA. Palo Alto is further from Chicago than any school on Parker's list. Head coach Dawkins does not have the same track record of success as Krzyzewski or Izzo.


2012-13 record: 6-3

Current national ranking: Not ranked

Head coach: Dave Rose

Number of NCAA championships: 0

Why BYU is the pick: Under Dave Rose, the Cougars have fielded a competitive team, winning 20 games in six straight seasons and reaching the Sweet Sixteen in 2011. BYU has won six regular-season conference championships since 2000. The Cougars have strong recruiting classes on the way, but Parker could immediately step into a starring role. Playing against weaker West Coast Conference opponents might allow Parker to excel by contrast in a way that playing in the ACC would not. And Jimmer Fredette proved that the school's lower national profile doesn't necessarily damage a player's exposure.

If Parker chooses BYU, though, it will likely be because of the school's connection to the LDS Church. Parker has not been shy about representing his faith, and he also has family connections to the state of Utah. He may prefer to play in the environment that BYU offers.

Why BYU is not the pick: Basketball-wise, the Cougars can't hold a candle to most of the other schools on the list. The competition and national exposure in the West Coast Conference is far below the ACC or Big Ten. BYU places very few players in the NBA. The Cougars are not national championship contenders. As such a big fish in a small pond, Parker would be under a lot of pressure to shine at BYU. Beyond basketball, many Mormon athletes have succeeded outside of Provo, notably Manti Te'o at Notre Dame.

Related: BYU men's basketball: Jabari Parker sets date to announce his decision

Dick Harmon: History says highly prized recruit Jabari Parker will stay near Chicago.