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UCLA Basketball Recruiting: Let’s Do This, Jabari Parker

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The 2013 UCLA basketball recruiting class got a nice head-start with the commitment of 2013 PG Zach LaVine. We’ve been checking out all prospective recruits for UCLA basketball, and we continue our look at elite talent that UCLA is interested in (and that has interest in UCLA) with consensus No. 1 2013 recruit SF Jabari Parker, out of Chicago, IL.

It only makes sense that we talk about the top player in the nation, considering we have had success in recruiting elite talent.

The vitals? He’s a 6’8” wing weighing in at 220 pounds, which seems pretty standard (although, if we’re nitpicking, he should be 10 or 20 pounds heavier for the kind of player he is).

His game? Let’s look at a mixtape:

If you were going just off this mixtape, you’d say that Parker is a hell of a ball-handler that can attack the basket and slash effectively. This is true, based on the scouting reports.

Of course, there isn’t much of a perimeter game, according to this, but the scouting reports seem to disagree about that. So we checked out another recent mixtape. Check it:

This is a much more versatile look at Parker. He’s often spotting up for an open three or he’s dribbling for position to knock down a three over an over-matched defender. (And there’s a lot of slashing and dunking there, too, mind you.)

His passing skills seem pretty top-tier and according to the scouting reports, he can and will pass to open man. (The word “unselfish” comes up a lot in these scouting reports.)

The knocks on Parker? He doesn’t have much of a mid-range game, and if you look at the highlights, he isn’t knocking down wide-open mid-range J’s. The scouting reports also seem to agree that he needs to build some strength, something we said in a sidenote a few paragraphs earlier about his weight not being totally ideal for a wing at 6’8”. He needs defensive work too, apparently, and that’s probably stemming from his issues of strength (and the reports note that Parker needs to fight through screens better, even more indicative of his strength issues, which are not major).

UCLA has a lot of wing-players (mainly because wingmen come around often and are abundant as hell), but after Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA will be void of a legit scorer that can create his own shots at the wing position (Zach LaVine is a point guard, mind you, that will be able to penetrate and should kick out to a guy like Parker, if UCLA lands him).

Parker is definitely a necessity for every and any college hoops squad. Parker knows UCLA has a hell of a pedigree when it comes to winning. Plus, Los Angeles has some gorgeous women.

GO BRUINS!!!