On Sunday evening, UCLA forward-center Tony Parker tweeted that he’s staying at UCLA.
This is great news for the Bruins. It was unclear whether Tony would stay, and there were rumors about him possibly transferring back home to Georgia. If you hover around his Twitter page, you’ll see he has tweeted some suspect things about UCLA and missing home. He even posted a picture of his suitcase on Instagram with the caption saying “packin up to get ready to go back to FakeWood.”
When seeing those things, one might think that he’s unhappy at UCLA and wants to go somewhere closer to home. I’m young, and I know what it’s like being faraway from home and being homesick. But kudos to Tony Parker for having the guts to stick around out West.
Last season, Parker got little to no burn under former head coach Ben Howland. Parker could have been a huge factor because he’s big and can clog up the lane as well. When you have a guy like that, it’s a necessity to use him to his fullest ability.
He did struggle with his weight, but that wasn’t as big of a factor as his foul issues were. But those kind of things can be managed by the right coach. This kid has so much potential, and it killed me to watch him pretty much rot on the bench while UCLA was getting manhandled in the paint.
With the Wear twins graduating at the end of next season, UCLA truly lacks a “big man” of the future. This is where Tony Parker immediately steps into the spotlight.
The Bruins are going to need T.P. to step up big time, and I’m fully confident that he’ll hold the fort down and protect the post. Good teams usually have a big man that’s capable of rebounding and locking down the lane. UCLA truly has a gem in the making in Tony Parker.
I’m almost completely certain that new Bruins head coach Steve Alford will put Parker in the starting lineup. That being said, the talented soon-to-be sophomore will need to work very hard this season to better his game.
But today the point remains—his return greatly improves UCLA’s chances next year.