Thursday, July 12, 2012
No Jabari, Denied!
Jabari Parker #1 ranked prospect in the land. courtesy usatodayhss.com
Wayne's Worlds Wayne Campbell & Garth Algar once asked a friend, "If your gonna spew, spew into this" for which he was referring to a minuscule Dixie cup.
I think Illini fans are gonna need something much larger than a Dixie cup to "spew in" after hearing the news from Jabari Parker today.
The Illini fans will once again have to get over another top in-state recruit rejecting the home state school for what they obviously feel is greener pastures.
Jabari Parker, who Sports Illustrated has called the best high school basketball player since LeBron James, made his top list of schools and rounded it nicely to 10.
S.I. cover boy Jabari Parker.
And ever so embarrassingly the University of Illiniois Fighting Illini were not one of them. They didn't make the cut. They really weren't even left at the alter. They were left as clean up crew for after the party.
The fortunate schools who did have the pleasure of seeing their names in the tweet he sent went as follows: BYU, DePaul, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Stanford. Jabari did make clear they were in no certain order. Read into that all you want.
As Illini basketball fans it was just another indication of where the program is at this time. It is at its lowest point in a great long while. To not even be listed in the final 10 schools speaks louder than my daughter when she has her headphones on.
The Orange Krush turned blue with the Jabari news today.
It has been said Jabari had a good relationship with Bruce Weber and Jerrance Howard which began in the 5th grade. There is a great deal to be said for built relationships and creating trust in an untrustworthy world. The change in staff at Illinois did them no justice in his recruitment.
The new staff was really hand-tied in their ability to do damage control. I believe John Groce did what he could to build a relationship with Jabari but it just wasn't enough. I think when Weber and Howard were gone so was Parker. He may not have said it publicly but he was thinking it.
I don't think realistically the Illini had any chance to land this super talented player even if Weber and Howard were still here. I really don't think any of the teams he listed have any chance to land this super talented player away from a cut throat recruiter like John Calipari. He has shown when he wants a player he lands them. Bill Self or Tom Izzo have had plenty of success recruiting superstars but will have trouble landing him over what Kentucky has to offer.
Coach Cal has plenty to smile about these days. Is Jabari the reason?
Of the other schools it has been documented Jabari has a relationship built with DePaul assistant Billy Garrett which is surely why they are on the list. Because if it really came down to level of national notoriety at this time for basketball programs the Illini are in much better shape then the Blue Demons.
To see him list BYU in his group due to his faith as a Mormon was not shocking either. This goes along with his wanting a relationship with his final school and what better relationship than with God and your faith. I think selecting them among his final 10 schools reaffirms his strength in his faith and shows what kind of person he is. He also has to decide if he will embark on a 2 year mormon mission and put those NBA dreams on hold. I really don't see it happening but then again I didn't see the Illini not at least being in his top 10 either.
The bottom line is Jabari is going where HE wants to and it is definitely not Illinois.
I am sure in the long run fans will forget that he didn't come to Illinois as he plays his one year of college ball and then scrams for the riches of the NBA. The Illini will alter their focus and allow themselves to further recruit players who WANT to be at Illinois and will be there for more than one year.
I am a true believer in things in life happen for a reason. It is hard to explain or understand at the time they happen but hopefully someday you figure it out.
So Jabari won't be coming down state to Champaign. Nor will the Orange Krush be rooting on the "next LeBron James". And the sickened Illini faithful will have to wait once again for their savior.
So finally I will leave you with one more meaningful interaction between Wayne and Garth in regards to what Illini fans are probably feeling like at this moment.
Illini Nation will not be "Partying On" tonight that is for sure!
"Uhm, Wayne? What do you do if every time you see this one incredible woman, you think you're gonna hurl?"
"I say hurl. If you blow chunks and she comes back, she's yours. But if you spew and she bolts, then it was never meant to be."
Obviously Jabari was never meant to be!
Posted by WGCY Newsroom at 9:35 PM