Tag Archives: Georgia Stars

BDN Premium talks with Duke prospect Tony Parker

When it comes to big physical big men in the 2012 high school recruiting class, not many are bigger and stronger than Georgia big man Tony Parker. Parker has long been on the Blue Devils wish list for 2012 recruits to try and get that bruising cog to man the middle. Parker, who stands 6’9 and 260lbs, has had the Blue Devils high on his list for as long as many remember. However, many Duke fans are struggling to fully emerge themselves into the twisting and turning of Parker’s recruitment. In recent interviews Tony hasn’t exactly made glowing comments about Duke, but they haven’t been comments that fans would like to hear. The Duke brass has showed Tony plenty of film on former Blue Devils Elton Brand, Carlos Boozer, and Shelden Williams to display their use of big men and what they can achieve when they commit to play for the storied program. Whether the perception of Duke being a guard school is right or wrong, the Blue Devils have to consistently combat that view to land that low post bruiser that fans have long been clamoring for. BDN got a chance to briefly speak with the highly touted big man and get some of his thoughts.

BDN: How was it playing against the pro’s in the Elite 24?

TP: It was good. It was fun. But you know we play against pro’s back home in Atlanta, they’re local pro’s, but playing against pro’s from all over was cool. You know they had top draft picks, it was fun.

BDN: Most difficult aspect?

TP: It was just, you know, their moves are so quick and they’re real controlled. It’s just really playing defense. It’s not about scoring, everybody out here can score, it’s just playing defense.

BDN: What’s [private] their advantage that puts them where they are?

TP: Obviously you know their bodies, the way they play and how strong they are. How quick they are on their feet, it’s a real big difference.

BDN: How does it feel to be selected to the Elite 24?

TP: You know it’s a great experience to be selected to the Elite 24. I’m really happy for me and my family to be able to watch me on TV and everybody just coming out to support us is real cool.

BDN: Did you have a toughest opponent you played against?

TP: Probably Derrick Williams.

BDN: What official visits will you be taking soon?

TP: I should be taking one on September 9th to Ohio State, October 15th to probably either Georgetown or Memphis.

BDN: Have you figured out a schedule yet for Duke?

TP: I haven’t set that up yet but I’ll probably set that up soon.

BDN: Some say you've cooled on Duke.  Is that the case for it seems you mention other schools more often these days.

TP:  Not really.  They've been in my top 3 from the start, so ...

BDN: Do you have a front runner?
TP: I mean, I like Memphis and Ohio State a lot, but they're all about equal right now.

BDN: What are you ultimately looking for when you make your decision?

TP: I’m just going to be looking for an all around good school, some place to play, some place where they have a good basketball atmosphere, and a great place to just have fun. A place that has good guys and good coaching.

BDN: What is important with concerns with a coach?

I just want somebody that has a good track record and gets along with his players.  I mean a lot of things will go into my decision but the coach is a big part of it.  I want somebody I can talk and relate to.

BDN: Are you waiting to see where other prospects go before deciding?

TP: No, not really.  I mean, it could have some bearing. [/private]

BDN speaks with Duke prospect Tony Parker

Tony Parker remains at the top of the Blue Devils want list - BDN Photo

Make no mistake that Duke has made it clear that Georgia Stars big man Tony Parker is a top priority.  Coach Krzyzewski and Jeff Capel watched 90% of his games this week at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam.  Parker came up big in that his teammate Alex Poythress sat out one game and he shouldered the load.  He led the Stars to the semi finals before they bowed out.  BDN caught up to Tony for this video [private] chat -

More to come - [/private]

BDN closing interview with Tony Parker who adds a 4th team to list

Tony Parker gave BDN Premium a closing interview after his team lost in the semi finals. He added a fourth team to his list as well. BDN Photo

The Georgia Stars made it to the semi finals of the Nike EYBL Peach Jam before losing to YOMCA (Memphis) 78-64.  Duke prospect Tony Parker sat for much of the second half with three fouls and when he returned there was a 14 point swing and a 17 point YOMCA lead.  Parker had 8 points and 8 rebounds in 21 minutes of play and averaged 9.3 rebounds overall in the event.  Parker has long maintained a list of Duke, Memphis and Ohio State but in our closing interview with the budding prospect he added a fourth team which caught me off guard.

In fact, [private] he said that there was another team he "wanted" to come in and that he expected them to but he stopped short of naming the school.

You guys made a good run, how do you feel the week went?

I think we played well overall as a team and Shaq Goodwin had a mismatch and he took full control, killing us on the boards and in the post and we just have to have players who play both sides of the floor and that's the bottom line.

Your team had some injuries, like Alex Poythress and another starter out, so I guess that had a dire effect?

At this point if you have an injury you have to get past it.  This is the Final Four so you have got to play through it.  Every player out here has some sort of kink.  We just didn't play both sides of the floor and injuries?  That didn't have anything to do with it at all.

Memphis doubled down on you a lot, sometime throwing Goodwin at you and sometime Stokes ...

Yeah.  They are both great players and good guys.  They play both sides of the floor, play strong and tough.

Where will the Stars go from here?

I think Orlando.

It sounds like you are waiting for a certain school to come in.  Is that true?


So you are expecting certain schools to come in?


Have they have actually sent some feelers out?

Yes sir. Yes.

Can you discuss that at all?

No sir.

So, somebody has shot you some feelers saying they would come in and you are definitely interested in them?

Yes sir.

I suppose they will call you some time this week?

Yes sir.

And you will then add teams to your list?

Yes.  I will add a couple of teams.

It sounds like the team coming in could shift the position of the other schools recruiting you.

No sir, not at all,  They are all great schools and all have great programs.

So, Duke, Memphis, Ohio State ..

Duke, Memphis, Ohio State and UCLA

UCLA?  Is that the one you were talking about?

Yes, well, that's one and maybe ...

UCLA is new huh? 

Yes, they are new.

Have other ACC schools showed interest, like  UNC?

They off (stopped short, so not sure what to make of it) ... I haven't heard from North Carolina in a while.

As far as a decision goes, is there an actual time frame?

I don't know.  I'll probably sitdown with my parents soon and figure that out.

Thanks for your time Tony!

Yes sir.  Thank you.

Last word - I wouldn't fret too much about UCLA being added to the list or worry with other comments.  While the recruitment has become frustrating for the fan base, Duke is still in solid shape to land him.  Still, we'd all like to see Tony realize the opportunity at hand with Duke and go ahead and pull the trigger.  Looks like this one will go into his high school season at the current pace.[/private]




BDN Recruiting Focus – Budding Prospect Alex Poythress speaks

Alex Poythress talks of Duke coach visiting and more in the latest BDN Premium offering. Photo - Mark Watson, BDN

Alex Poythress is a very athletic 6'7" forward from Clarksville, Tennessee, hometown of Pat Summitt, Shawn Marion, and Trent Hassell. He's made the quick and relatively smooth assimilation into the Georgia Stars AAU program , where he teams with Duke recruit, Tony Parker. The laconic forward spoke with us about the latest in his recruitment, playing with Parker at this level and the next, and his impressions of Duke.

Let's start with recruiting. What schools are after you right now?

The schools would be Vandy, Memphis, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Alabama, Stanford, Duke, Texas..I've got a lot. Ohio State, Minnesota, and Marquette.

Which of those are offers versus those expressing serious interest? [private]

UConn has offered. Georgia, Florida, Vandy, Tennessee, Miami, Alabama, Stanford, Marquette, and Memphis. There might be a couple of other schools, but that's all that I can remember right now.

That's plenty. Now, which schools came in recently to watch you during your "open gyms?"

Duke, Ohio State, Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Memphis, Marquette, Vandy, and Tennessee. Alabama came to my open gym as well.

Do you have any timeline for when you'd like to decide by?

I'd like to cut my schools down by the end of the summer and then take my visits in the fall.

And you must be a pretty good student to have some of those schools interested in you.

Oh, yeah, I have a 3.9.



Finally, there's somebody around here cracking the books.

(laughs) Oh, yeah. I try.

Can you describe your game for an audience that may not have seen you play in person?

I'm like an athletic wing player that can post up small defenders and can take bigger defenders away from the basket. Just being a really versatile player that can help a coach or a team in whatever way is necessary.

In terms of a position, what do you view yourself as?

A wing player. A 3 or a 4.

What would you like to improve upon?

I'd like to get my outside shot to become more consistent and work on my ball-handling as well.

Who are some players that you try to emulate?

I don't really try to emulate nobody. I just try to play out there.

Who's been the most difficult match-up or player for you to defend so far?

The most difficult match-up was probably against Andre Drummond. We played him in Arkansas.

Sure, he's an athletic 6'10' to 6'11" guy.

Yeah, he was tough guy to defend.

Whenever you decide on a program, what are you ideally looking for?

Schools that have demonstrated good player development, a quality coaching staff, academics, and finally just a good fit for me.

What schools have you visited so far?

I've visited Florida, Georgia, Memphis, Vandy, Tennessee, and Alabama

Will distance be a factor for you?

No, sir.

What would you like the audience to know about you away from the court?

I like to play tennis.

Excuse me.

I like to play tennis.

Wow. That's another thing that I don't hear very often.

(laughs) Yeah, yeah.

Do you play on the school's team?

Yeah, I play.

What are you first singles?

No, I'm doubles.

And can you talk about playing alongside Tony Parker?

Oh, he's a good player. He's unselfish. He'll like pass the ball, if he doesn't have his shot. He's a good, dominant post player.

What's you current height and weight?

I'm 6'7 1/2" and 216 pounds.

Whenever you get close to deciding, who will you turn to for guidance?

Probably my mom and my high school coach.

Physically, what are you going to try to work on this summer?

Just lifting a lot of weights. Building my arms.

In terms of in your community, with your success on the court and in the classroom, do you view yourself as a role model?

Yes, at my school, we have this thing called freshman focus. I just try to help the freshmen get acquainted to high school and stuff like that. I do that as like a leader.

You're a mentor?


Lastly, you and Tony have a bit of an overlap in terms of schools that are interested in you. Have you talked about playing in college together?

No, we haven't talked about it yet, but we might though because we're roommates and stuff like that.

One of the programs that you and Tony have in common is Duke. What do you know about their program and can you talk about them a little bit?

I know Duke is a good school and has a very good track record. Coach K's a great coach. They've been in the finals and like all of this stuff. They're in the finals like every other year.

Which coach came to visit you recently?

Coach James.

Do you follow college basketball pretty closely?

Yeah, I love watching basketball.

Thanks for your time.

Oh, alright, thanks. [/private]

Georgia Stars Coach talks Tony Parker and Alex Poythress

Tony Parker - Mark Watson BDN Photo

One thing you can generally count on is that the Georgia Stars  AAU Basketball team will have some big time college prospects on the team year in and year out.  BDN caught up to their well known head coach of 23 years Norman Parker recently where we talked about two of his studs.  Duke has long been after Tony Parker,Tony Parker a force in the paint and now  Alex Poythress has caught their eyes as well.

Talk about Alex Poythress for me.  He has really come on since last season and just joined the Stars this season.

He's got great character an brings a wonderful attitude to our team and to be honest with you we are learning how to use him and fit him into to our offensive scheme.  I think our team will get better as we get used to [private] working with him as a team.  He is an outstanding young man that I think will be a future pro one day.

It is intersting to see just how much he has improved in a year.

We think he has improved a lot in one season.  I wanted him to come play with us to play the perimeter, not just wanting him to play in the paint because he does handle the ball.  He shoots the ball well and does a lot of things good handling the ball well to be 6-8.

He played really well in Hampton, especially when Parker went down.

He stepped up when Tony Parker could not play, he was our go to guy and I think you could see that more and more as games get on the line, we will have to use him and Tony.  Getting those two to play together will be a challenge but they are rooming together and like each other so we are beginning to build out chemistry and when you get two kids like that it take a while.

Tony reshapped his body in the off season in a big way ...

Tony works really hard.  He works out daily.  He runs, he lifts weights, he does everything he can to get his body in shape and I told him during high school his body looks as fine tuned as I have ever seen him.  He's big, got great hands, good footwork and he's been a little injury prone.  We worry about that a little.  He didn't play in any games in the final day in Hampton but we just have to be patient with that as he gets his back well.

You guys lost to a couple of really good teams this weekend, but seem to be in good shape to make it to Peach Jam or the NYBL Finals.

As we continue to grow, we'll come together and make it to the Peach Jam.  The Georgia Stars always have and we'll do it again especially when Tony and Alex continue to get accustomed to one another. [/private]

Prospect Spotlight – 2012’s Alex Poythress shines at EYBL

BDN Photo

HAMPTON, Va - By the end of the Nike EYBL Session I, many were talking of the improvement in Alex Poythress game from a season ago.  In one game he matched teammate Tony Parker's numbers of 17 points and 11 rebounds and he used that game as a springboard.  When Parker had to sit out with back spasms, Poythress picked up the slack.

Poythress is a 6-8 combo forward that has gained a lot of confidence of late.  He would mix it up with anybody during this past weekends Nike EYBL, exploded around the basket and was very aggressive in his movements.  He has developed more of a jumper as well and displayed all the improvements on the Nike stage for all evaluators in attendance to see.  Here is a video clip and interview of Poythress. [private]

His current list consists of Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Memphis, Stanford, Alabama, Texas, Marquette and others, but he'll be getting plenty of new calls this coming week.  He is open to Duke and ACC schools, so we'll see if his newly formed game translates into interest.

What is your current height and weight?

6-8, 215

What do you feel like your strengths are at this time?

My strengths are probably taking bigger defenders off the dribble and small guys, I post up.  I need to improve my ball handling.

Who has offered you to date?

Alabama, Vandy, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Marquette, Stanford, um, there is c couple more.

There has been a little bit of vague interest between you and Duke.  Can you talk about that?

Duke is a good school you know, it's one of the top schools in the country.

Have you spoken to any of their assistants?

No sir.

How would it impact you if they became more aggressive?

Um, I'd probably take a look at them.

Are any of the schools recruiting you harder than others?

No sir, they are pretty much the same.

Did you have a dream school growing up?

No sir.

Do you pattern your game after any player?

No sir.  I just play out there.

What do you need to do to get readt for the next level?

Probably hit the weights more, be more physical.

How would you feel if you were recruited as a power forward?

I'd be okay with it.  I just want to find a place I am comfortable playing.

What do you think your position will be in college?  Do you consider yourself to be a hybrid type of forward?

Yes sir. [/private]