After missing all of the 2015-16 season, redshirt junior Juwan Parker returned to the court for Georgia basketball this season and has improved ever since.
Since the beginning of the season the question around the Georgia basketball team was who was going to step up to be the number three guy besides J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten.
One of those candidates was Juwan Parker, a redshirt junior shooting guard at 6’4, 205 lbs. He’s a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Role and he’s graduated with a bachelor’s degree in management.
But there was one problem with Parker, he missed all of last season with a left achilles injury that he actually first suffered in the middle of the 2014-15 season.
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Clearly this would not be an easy injury to come back from, especially after missing a year of basketball. And early on it showed. In Georgia’s first eight games, Parker averaged 6.7 points and he didn’t even play against Morehouse.
While Georgia needed someone besides Maten and Frazier to step up, Parker was still getting into his groove. And then came the game against Louisiana Lafayette. He recorded then-season highs with 14 points and 33 minutes in the Bulldogs 73-60 win. It was the first step in Parker becoming a player Georgia could rely on to score points consistently.
Parker only scored six points in each of Georgia’s next two games, but starting with the trip to Oakland, Parker started a streak of seven straight game sin double figures. The highlight of that streak came against Florida and Vanderbilt when he scored 17 in both games with seven rebounds against Florida and six against Vanderbilt.
His streak ended with eight points against Texas A&M after he fouled out with a few minutes left to play and his presence was truly missed in the closing moments of the game.
Back in November and December it looked as though someone else like Derek Ogbeide or Mike Edwards was more likely to become the third scorer over Parker. But since conference play begun, Parker has taken that role and has made it his.