Last week I went over a number of the targets that Danny Manning and his staff are looking at to fill out the 2016 basketball recruiting class. Despite it being only a couple days since we went over those prospects, it should surprise no one that the always chaotic recruiting period in the early summer has changed the outlook of this class significantly in a very brief amount of time. I mentioned how important I thought Kwe Parker was to this 2016 class last week, and my opinion on that hasn’t changed at all. What has changed is that the Deacs seemingly have a much stronger competitor now for his services than we might have initially thought, and this competitor is from a very unlikely source in relation to our program’s recruiting history.
— Zachary Lyon (@F150Zach) June 11, 2015
Many thought that Wake’s biggest rivals for Parker in the race for his commitment would be familiar ACC foes Virginia Tech, Florida State, and even Louisville. However, it seems like Rutgers from the Big Ten is the most serious threat for Wake Forest at the moment, with Parker taking an official visit to the school this past weekend. It is important to note that Rutgers landed 4* PG Corey Sanders out of Florida for the 2015 class much to everyone’s surprise, and Eddie Jordan is looking to continue that trend again by stealing Parker right from the Deacons’ backyard and bringing him up to New Brunswick. Prior to this month, Parker was 100% Crystal Ball for Wake Forest with 6 predictions going the Deacs’ way, but the tide has been flipped in recent days, with Wake now the underdog in the predictions and a couple big time analysts switching to RU instead. Of course, a lot of Crystal Ball predictions are always nothing more than guesswork and speculation, but it is somewhat alarming to see the trend shift so dramatically out of WF’s favor in such a short period of time.
To calm the nerves of those of you who are panicked and trying to find the nearest glass of whiskey thanks to this news, I’d like to point out that Wake had 1/25 of the predictions for Bryant Crawford, 3/21 for Doral Moore, and 0/7 for John Collins. These are predictions. Nothing more, nothing less. But I’d like to reiterate my point from last week that I think the staff needs to do everything it can to try and get one last great pitch into Parker before he decides by the end of the month. Parker brings a lot to the Wake Forest basketball program, and has the athleticism to really thrive and grow into his enormous potential under good coaching. He’s an excellent defender who I think can make up for his slight deficit in size at the SG position due to his quickness. His jumping ability provides some excitement to a program that could use some energy and fun on the offensive end after the last few dryly burdensome years. Is he an excellent shooter from deep? Not yet. But neither were a number of high quality players we have recruited over the years who have grown into their shot and become solid outside scorers while wearing the Black and Gold (CJ Harris and Josh Howard most notably).
And we all know what he can do around the rim...
The truth is, Kwe could announce any day from now until July 1st. After 4 years of struggling to be even in the conversation with Top 100 recruits, Danny Manning has brought us back into contention and we have a great chance to land an exciting one from the area. The dream of landing the Big 3 from Wesleyan Christian Academy (Childress, Parker, and Giles) is still alive, but Rutgers is trying everything it can to burst the bubble before our fantasies ever really get a chance to come to fruition. Buckle up and get ready. Our first real recruiting battle for the 2016 class is coming into the closing stages, and it remains to be seen if Wake will be the last man standing.
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