UConn coach Kevin Ollie was in Chicago on Thursday night, visiting the home of Jabari Parker, considered the No.1 recruit in the country. I spoke to Robert Smith, Parker’s coach at Simeon Academy Thursday afternoon, and of this much he was certain:
It’s not just a courtesy call.
“If Jabari wasn’t seriously interested in UConn, he wouldn’t have them come in for a visit,” Smith said. “They don’t waste people’s time, that’s not how Jabari and his family is.”
Smith said Jabari made the decision to re-include UConn before Jim Calhoun retired, and the change in coaches did not affect that decision. Don’t expect any earth-shattering news right away. Ollie’s goal will be to get Parker to make UConn one of five schools to which he makes official visits. Michigan State appears to have one of those spots, according to Diamond Leung in this report . Duke appears to likely to get a visit, but Kentucky has apparently dropped out, according to KentuckySports.com.
The Huskies are, themselves, limited to five visits, but got a break when they landed Kentan Facey and Terrence Samuel commits without using any. The staff wants to use those visits judiciously, but the positive attention that would come from a Jabari Parker visit would make it worthwhile, even if the odds were against his coming.
More on Jabari will be on the main website soon, and in the Friday Courant.
Some other recruiting buzz: Xavier Rathan-Mayes was to make an official visit this week, but I’m hearing it has been put on hold for now.
Look for the Huskies, who are looking for an athletic small forward, to get heavily involved with 6-6 Brandon Austin, from the Philly area. Austin de-committed form Penn State over the summer.
Noah Vonleh, big man now at New Hampton school, who re-classified from Class of 2014 to 2013, figures to get a major effort from UConn. He could be at First Night.
The school, of course, is not allowed to confirm or comment on recruits.