September 16, 2011

DePaul Intrigued by Class of 2012 Point Guard

The DePaul coaching staff has made a point to look at all possible point guard options for the 2012 class. Point guard Benny Parker is one of the players they have targeted.

The DePaul coaching staff has been all over the country watching and visiting with recruits since the fall contact period began Sept. 9. The contact period presents college coaches the chance to watch recruits play at their high school, and visit with the recruits on or off campus. The staff made it known that Parker, a 5-foot-8 point guard from Kansas City, Kan., was a priority by scheduling an in-home visit with Parker and his family Wednesday.

According to Parker's uncle, head coach Oliver Purnell was supposed to make the visit, but was unable to make the trip and assistant coach Brian Ellerbe made the pitch to the three-star prospect instead. Ellerbe made it clear that Parker is a high priority for DePaul.

Parker also received an in-home visit from the Nebraska staff, and began a visit to their campus today.

DePaul did not extend an offer on the trip, but according to Parker's uncle, Purnell will make the trip to see Parker Tuesday or Wednesday and make the offer. Parker holds offers from Indiana State and Buffalo, and has received interest from Creighton, but has reportedly narrowed down his decision to DePaul and Nebraska. A decision could come as soon as next week.

On paper, it could be easy to write off Parker at the high major level due to his size. Seeing his body of work on the floor has seemed to change some opinions about Parker playing in high level college basketball.

Parker's recruiting stock rose in the summer due to the high exposure he and his AAU team, the Kansas City 76ers, received on the circuit. Parker and class of 2013 forward Ishmail Wainright, the 32nd ranked player and former Missouri commitment, led the 76ers to the 17-U title at the July Fab 48 tournament in Las Vegas. The 76ers defeated the Mac Irvin Fire in the quarterfinals, which is a team that the DePaul staff kept an eye on all summer.

At Sumner Academy (Kan.), Parker has established himself as a tough lead guard that will do anything to lead his team to victory. Parker is a large reason behind Sumner capturing the past two state championships.

The toughness, quickness and leadership ability in Parker's game has been a big reason why high major programs begun to take notice of him in the summer. Parker has high-level quickness, which he uses to be a disruptive force on defense. Playing on a high-tempo high school and AAU team has allowed him to thrive, and has given him the chance to show his strong ability in a pressing system.

Parker showed noticeable improvement in his jump shot during the summer. After not being known as a knock-down shooter his previous three years of high school, Parker clearly put in the work to develop another aspect of his game.

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