Kevin Ollie impressed Jabari Parker, but ultimately couldn't convince the top recruit to choose UConn.
As Steven Wright used to say, "You can't have everything -- where would you put it." And we're taking that glass-half-full approach in regards to UConn and recruiting. Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun retired in September and assistant Kevin Ollie was named head coach. In the weeks since, not much has changed: Calhoun still has an office and will be involved with the athletic department, and the coaching staff remains otherwise intact. And while the official start to the 2012-13 season isn't far off, in the meantime, Ollie is busy on the recruiting trail.
Last week, he met with the nation's best high school player, Jabari Parker, in Parker's Chicago home. The Huskies were always considered long shots to land Parker, who originally didn't have UConn listed among his potential destinations. But that's been UConn's M.O. -- outsiders who still find ways to win.
"It was a great home visit," said Sonny Parker, Jabari's father, last week. "Kevin Ollie, him being a former player, being in the NBA, now the coach at UConn, they have a great program. Jabari chose to have UConn come in."
And now, it appears, Jabari will choose to play somewhere other than UConn.
According to ESPN's Reggie Rankin, Parker has whittled his list to five schools, none of which are located in Storrs, Connecticut.
— ESPNHomeCourt (@ESPNHomeCourt) October 5, 2012
"He thought about it and looked at the programs," Simeon coach Robert Smith told Rankin Friday. "That's the five he had. It took him a long time to find. Everyone was really good, but he had to make a decision. He really respected everyone recruiting him and wanted to thank them for their time. He knew he couldn't make everyone happy.
"He's just ready to go out and visit the campuses and get a real feel for the players and the campuses. Him, his family and myself will sit down and see what he comes up with. This is Jabari's decision. We're just making sure he's being guided. I tell him to follow his heart."