A week ago, the Georgia basketball starting five was inked in. A week ago, Bulldog hoops fans anticipated a ho-hum October leading to the first tip-off. Today there is a big hole to fill with the dismissal of Brandon Morris following a marijuana arrest in Athens.
The likely option to replace Morris in the starting lineup is 6’ 4” Juwan Parker. Parker came off the bench early and often during the 2014 season to play at both the SF and SG spots. During Georgia’s final ten game drive for post-season play, Parker averaged 17 minutes, 4.4 points and 2.3 rebounds. For Georgia to be successful with Parker as a starter, he will have to shoot better than the 30% overall and 18% from behind the arc that he shot during those final ten games.
There is reason to believe Parker is talented to succeed. Parker came to Georgia as Rivals National 142 player – just inside the National 150 considered the basic qualification by most fans for a major college scholarship. However, unfortunate injury timing held back the one time Rivals Four Star prospect’s evaluation during critical summer evaluation periods. He received scholarship offers from Memphis, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Minnesota and his home state schools of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Tulsa.
In fact, Parker, a 4.0 GPA high school student, attended Tulsa during his senior year at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa. He was also named the 2011 Player of the Year in Oklahoma by Tulsa World, a Two Time Tulsa World All-State pick and a two-time “Super 5” selection by the The Oklahoman.
Despite options like Memphis, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and his home state schools (his older brother played at Tulsa), the choice of Georgia was not a surprise. Just after signing a LOI with Georgia, Parker spoke with Dan McDonald of Rivals.com:
The decision to play for Coach Fox goes way back to the days I was knee high to a grasshopper. Coach Fox, as an assistant at Kansas State, recruited my older brother– Jason. At that time, Coach Fox visited my home and left a lasting impression on my parents. He and my brother remained in contact over the years and formed a lasting relationship.
Coach Johnson, is like a member of the family. I have known him my whole life and he coached Jason as an assistant at Tulsa University. My dad taught and mentored him as an undergraduate and law student at Tulsa University. Because of these relationships attending the University of Georgia is just like visiting family, which was the main factor in my decision.
Parker’s freshman scoring numbers are certainly not gaudy, but he is a smart, focused, hard-working, and, most importantly, talented basketball player. He has proven he can run, jump, handle the ball, play, defense and rebound. Does he have scoring ability? Dawnofthedawgs predicts twenty-five minutes of playing time a night for Parker with double-digit scoring production.
DawnoftheDawg also guarantees a much more interesting October than expected a week ago.
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