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Jabari Parker cuts down his (contacts) list

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ESPN Chicago’s Scott Powers caught up with Sonny Parker, the father of super-recruit Jabari Parker, to get to the bottom of his recruitment. And, well, Powers got essentially the same answer everyone else has gotten regarding Parker’s “list”: everyone.

“He’s going to narrow it down. He’s going to take his visits and he’s going to make his decision,” the elder Parker told Powers. He also said that Jabari would start the process of narrowing down his choices by the end of the summer.

But the younger Parker has started to eliminate some people from his life. Namely, the media. Jabari will have a limited availability for interviews, which is something that tends to be necessary once Sports Illustrated claims you’re the best high school player since LeBron on the cover of their magazine:

“Basketball never stops, so we’re getting ready to shut it down for him,” Parker’s father, Sonny, said. “He just wants to continue to be a kid, watch cartoons, hang out with friends and everything.

“I think Jabari is the first (high school) player who has experienced this social media stuff. LeBron (James) and Kobe (Bryant) never experienced that. Jabari can’t go to the bathroom without being on Twitter. It’s the first time a player of his caliber you know he plays a game, gets out of the shower and he’s on YouTube.”

Sonny said all the attention has gotten to his son.

“It’s overwhelming,” Sonny said. “It could be a distraction sometimes because he still has to stay in the same routine. I think the distractions sometimes can get overwhelming.

“He doesn’t like a lot of attention. He’s managing. With all the interviews, they want to do a book, they want to do a movie, they want to do a documentary, those things. He says, ‘Dad, why do they have to follow me to school and church and home and everything?’ He’s trying to get used to that.”

Anyone who has paid attention won’t be surprised by this decision.

Parker is humble. He isn’t blinded by the spotlight, which is quite refreshing in the era of top 100 rankings, agents and 15 year old superstars.

But a word of advice for Jabari: you better get used to the attention. Because if you are as good as people expect you to be, it ain’t getting any easier.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POWER RANKINGS: Buddy Hield isn’t going anywhere

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) drives to the basket as LSU guard Antonio Blakeney (2) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
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It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.

And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.

The rest of the top 10?

They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: