Kevin Ollie In Chicago, Making His Pitch to Jabari Parker

by Categorized: Kevin Ollie, UConn men's basketball


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

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.




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6 thoughts on “Kevin Ollie In Chicago, Making His Pitch to Jabari Parker

  1. steve

    can ollie work his magic and pull a fast one on calipari and sign the top recruit. Ollie and uconn has some advantages that other coaches can’t use in recruiting. Ollie played in the NBA recently so he can relate and talk to the young guys who grew up on the play grounds of rucker park and other recreational sites. Ollie will be able to tell his story of making around a 10 year career out of nothing. He wasn’t nearly as talented and athletic as many uconn alumni that never made the NBA. But this uncle tom has the heart and drive to make it. His work ethic will definitely correlate to his recruiting efforts.

  2. Schwa

    Dom, you wrote that the Huskies are limited to five official visits. Is that a temporary restriction due to sanctions or does that apply for all schools?

  3. mikeinmanla

    Really rooting for Kevin Ollie. He seems to be a good recruiter… and love his professionalism and work ethic. If can match those abilities as a game day coach, UConn will be in great shape.

  4. Publicus


    You called Ollie an uncle tom. You have to answer for that. You are a complete jerk.

  5. TerryA88

    Steve. You have no idea how offensive the phrase ‘ Uncle Tom’ is to any person of color/ African American. This also doesn’t reflect the overwhelming majority of Husky fans. You certainly aren’t a UConn alum, as we have both more tact and intellect that what you are reflecting in your post. You are clearly a young and simply man. Even worst, you are an older(37+) unaccomplished middle aged caucasion male. You either live with your parents, or have them pay your rent? I’m calling you out Steve, 24 hours notice, anywhere in CT, MA , RI. or NY . Accept and I’ll provide you with an e-mail address . Post your acceptance here, and we can move forward. Don’t accept..fine. The board will realize what you are , a bit#ch at a keyboard.

  6. Tom Bean

    So Steve goes Ugly using an offensive expression. In doing it publicly he paints Uconn Fans with a Nation wide recruiting blunder. Other coaches will use Steve as a Red Herring in the process. Coach Ollie we all are sorry this thread is not parsed to remove the Boneheads like Steve.
    I am looking forward to the season and will be rooting for you.

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