Prep Notebook: Looking ahead, Isaiah Hicks vs. Parker
Chicago prep phenom Jabari Parker’s announcement Thursday that he will play at Duke next season sets up an intriguing head-to-head scenario for the 2013-14 season with Oxford Webb’s Isaiah Hicks, North Carolina’s top recruit.
The two players have similar physical abilities, though Parker is about an inch shorter than the 6-foot-9 Hicks. The each project to play at about 220 pounds in college and neither is a strictly low post scorer.
Watch Hicks and longtime ACC and NBA basketball fans might draw easy comparisons to former North Carolina and Los Angeles Lakers star James Worthy, another 6-9 forward.
Like Worthy, Hicks is at home on the wing on the fast break, can shoot the 3 and is no stranger when it comes to blocking a shot down low or on the wing.
Scout.com, the national online recruiting site, ranks Hicks as the No. 20 overall prospect in this year’s senior high school class, and the No. 8 power forward. Scout.com lists Parker as both the No. 2 small forward and No. 2 overall senior. But Parker, coming off a foot injury suffered over the summer, has reportedly added 30 pounds to his normal playing weight, and could just as easily be listed as a power forward.
HICKS TO FACE 7-FOOTER
Before Hicks gets caught up in the whole Tar Heel-Blue Devil rivalry, he’ll face a major test tonight in the Chick-fil-A Invitational holiday basketball tournament at Columbia (S.C.) Richlands High School.
Hicks and his Webb teammates, including junior guard and rising star Mitron Terry, will take on Snellville (Ga.) Shiloh at 8 p.m.
Shiloh’s Generals produced two Division I recruits a year ago, including Georgia Tech’s Robert Carter and are led this year by 7-1 junior center Trayvon Reed. It’s the rare time that Hicks will have to go up against a taller player than himself at the high school level.
HALL REBUILDING SPARTANS
First-year Southern High boys’ basketball coach Kendrick Hall — he coached the girls’ varsity last year — doesn’t have a lot of proven talent to work with, which makes this a rebuilding year.
But don’t wait for him to admit it.
After losing to rival Hillside Tuesday night in a game Southern led much of the way, Hall said his team’s lack of experience shows. Even the seniors on the team — there are seven — haven’t been in the spotlight before.
“We have to learn to play all four quarters,” Hall said after seeing Hillside pull away with a fourth-quarter run. “The guys who have experience haven’t played lots of minutes before. The guys who are new or up from the (junior varsity) haven’t had any minutes.”
Hall does have some players with promise, including 6-7 center Isaiah Maurice who’s raw, but athletic. Forward Jerrick Richmond, guard Amari Hamilton and wing Marvin Tillman also had their moments Tuesday.
That nucleus of four will be back next season and that’s offers hope.
“Don’t get me wrong, we’ve got work to do,” Hall said, “but we want to win now and we’re working hard to do that.”
Hall added that he’s been very pleased with the progress of the junior varsity this season, the feeding ground of talent for next year’s team.
“They’re doing really well,” Hall said.