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Chasin' Jason Guts Heels?

As you probably have heard by now, it looks very doubtful that Jason Parker
will be playing at UNC next year.  For Parker, who really wanted to play
for UNC, it's too bad. For UNC it's probably also too bad as they also lost
another big guy when Vasectimov went off to an eternal twilight of Euroweeniedom. 
Lang is sensational, of course, and Haywood has that huge size even if his
skills are still pretty much a non-factor.  As they hoary old saying goes,
you can't teach size.  Bersticker has impressed us with his raw running
ability, though he's also impressed us with his thinness, and his ablity to
locate his Bersticker at a pretty fast clip.  Jason Capel will step right
in and fill the other spot, so maybe it's actually not such a devastating thing
- Bersticker might be the big beneficiary of all this late shuffling, and God
knows he has the potential to be really good if he fills out.

But that's really not what interests us here.  A more interesting
question is why UNC recruited Parker at all.  They failed to recruit him
most of the year, supposedly, word had it, because he would have trouble making
his SATs.  Then late in the year they went hard after him and got what
turned out to be at best a commitment for two falls from now (after prep school,
and that's if UNC keeps the offer on the table, which might be tough since we
believe they're on the verge of signing Eddie Griffin and might get Chris Wilcox
as well).  It just seems like wasted energy to go after him after not going
after him - and then being fully cognizant that he was a significant risk. 

On the other hand, we're keenly aware that it's easy to sit out here and lob
rhetorical bombs.  They may have only gone after him after Gut had some
idea Vasco was going to bolt. Actually, that does make sense, which is pretty
good work for 2 AM.

Anyway, there may not be a spot for him when he's ready.  And it's not
like UNC is the only school to go after him - Michigan did, hard (sidebar: at
the ACC-SEC Challenge we tried to get Brian Ellerbee of Michigan to pose with
the DBR hat.  "Are you crazy?" he said. "My AD would fire
me."  We told you a while back that we thought that  that guy was
out of his tree - the AD, not Ellerbee). 

And Duke has had some people with less than stellar academics, notably Gene
Banks, who was way below Duke's usual standards.  However, in Gene's case,
as anyone who has ever met him can testify, the man lights up a room like no
one's business.  He was a probable No until he got into his Admissions
Interview where he absolutely blew them away.  He does that to people; it's
just Tink.  He's an extraordinarily intelligent and charismatic man. But
even despite his low scores, by Duke standards, he would have made current NCAA standards. 

This is one of those points where you have to say: it depends, and give
leeway to people who have proved themselves (meaning coaches). And that's really
unfair to less proven but no less earnest coaches. But we'd give K a lot of latitude, since he's been at Duke for 20 years
and has a superb track record.  We'd also give, say, John Chaney almost
anything he wants, because he's proven himself.  The UNC program is
similarly regarded in Chapel Hill.  So we don't begrudge them an occasional
Parker (though we draw the line at one former player whose SAT was said to be
well under 500).  We just wonder why they a) waited so long, b) invested
late, and c) let themselves get burned at such a late date.  This is very
un-Deanish, frankly.

Oh, wait. Coooooooooooooool.  We almost forgot ourselves there. Sorry
'bout that!