I know you’re sad like me about the career of Brandon Miller drawing to a close. Long, athletic wings that get after it on both ends of the floor and can score from every level of the court, even as they create their own shot, are a very rare commodity.
Where do you find a guy that can help soothe that kind of loss?
How about picking up the No. 20 swing-guard in the country, 4-star Kris Parker?
2023 4⭐️ Kris Parker tells me he has committed to Alabama and Nate Oats.— 24/7 High School Hoops (@247HSHoops) March 3, 2023
Parker is a long, versatile wing who can score from all levels. Has tremendous potential on both ends of the floor.
He chose Alabama over UCF, Missouri and Villanova. #61 in the ESPN100. pic.twitter.com/lSSEbgpRc0
The Tide staff put together a three-man signing class in November that includes rising power forward Sam Walters, four-star power forward Mouhamed Dioubate, and in-state combo guard R.J. Johnson. Bama also added four-star guard Davin Cosby, who enrolled with the program in January.
“He made it known that I was a priority, and that he’s helped people similar to me get to the NBA,” Parker said of UA head coach Nate Oats and his recruiting pitch.
Combined with the atmosphere and the dedication all around to development and championship culture, Alabama was the top option.
“I like how serious the entire school is about athletics,” Parker said of the Tide.
Interestingly, Parker was not a pickup from Coach Pettway; assistant Bryan Hodgson was the point man on this get. That is good to know, since Pett is almost certainly going to be getting courted for job offers this offseason. Coach Pettway has been Alabama’s ace recruiter for almost a decade now, and is part of the lifeblood of this program’s culture. You can’t replace the latter, but if Hodgson et al can close in the living room, that’s a great sign — especially for a player that was coveted by several traditional “basketball schools,” including two who play an almost identical style of ball: Mizzou and Villanova.
What are we getting?
Try a 6’6” combo guard with a good handle, a smooth sidestep spot-up shot and plenty of accuracy from the perimeter. He can lead the break, but is better as a trailing man than as the primary 1 in that spot. Like Miller, he’s a proactive shooter, with the size to slash inside, but perhaps not quite with Miller’s knack for being able to feel traffic. What he is better at is in creating long 2PA jumpers from 18 feet or so, with a sweet fall-away in that no-man’s land.
This is a huge, huge pickup for the Tide, particularly after a few weeks of character assassination and hot take-inspired negative press. Parker can do a lot of the things that Miller can do, and a few months of conditioning and elite competition should have him moving at a more urgent pace. It’s sometimes hard to tell about his ceiling, simply because he makes it look too easy at times.
I’m happy to see him in the lineup, and Parker will almost certainly be coming off the bench on Day 1. His willingness to get dirty on defense will make Nate Oats smile and facilitate that goal. He’s careful with the ball, can create or spot-up, and plays defense. There’s no downside that you can see.