The elements all seem to be in place, and by August, USF should know whether or not a key piece of its 2007 recruiting class has been cemented.
Lake Howell High School rising senior forward Chandler Parsons said Monday afternoon that the Bulls are solidly among his top five (which also includes Miami, Arizona State, Wisconsin and Virginia Tech) and there are plenty of reasons for him to choose USF.
Parsons' former prep mentor, Reggie Kohn, is a Bulls legend and now a member of Robert McCullum's coaching staff. Kohn played with Parsons' oldest brother, Chad, at Lake Howell. Another Parsons brother, Chase, is a pre-med major at USF, and Chandler admits that his parents would be thrilled to have him play his college basketball close to home.
"I like USF a lot. We've gone to the team camp there every summer and I have a good relationship with Coach Mac, Coach (Frank) Burnell and Coach (Greg) Gary. I'm very comfortable with those guys," Parsons said. "Having Reggie there makes it more intriguing. It's a great opportunity and I'm happy for him.
"He's like another brother to me. I've known him all my life. He talks to me every day and he's putting a little pressure on."
That included Kohn's attendance this past weekend as Parsons and some of his teammates participated in the annual team camp at the University of Florida. Minus Florida's reigning Mr. Basketball Nick Calathes (UF commit) and point guard Joey Rodriguez (UMass commit), Parsons led Lake Howell to a runner-up finish in Gainesville. At full strength, LHHS had already won team titles at USF and Rollins summer camps.
"I think I averaged about 40 points per game at Florida without (Calathes and Rodriguez)," Parsons said. "I definitely like playing with them, but it does limit your shots when you have four Division I players on one team, including Mr. Basketball. I think (college) coaches know that and we share the ball. That's why we've had so much success."
Parsons has also had enough individual success this spring and early summer that he has solidified himself as one of the nation's fastest rising prospects. He was named among the top performers earlier this month at the prestigious Pangos All-American Camp in California and has been invited to the NIKE All-American Camp, July 5-9 at Indianapolis.
Parsons is a deadly perimeter shooter who has improved off the dribble. He said his primary work now is adding strength and quickness to his game.
"I know (USF) struggled last year and they definitely have to rebuild, but it was their first year in the Big East - probably the best conference. I want to play the best competition. When it comes to making a decision, I just want to go somewhere where I can get immediate playing time and will be able to go to the postseason. I want to be on a team that's in the 64 and can contend for a national title," Parsons said.
"I want to have a decision before school, so probably before August. But I'll wait a little to see what other schools show interest the rest of the summer. I won't forget the schools that have been with me though."
In addition to USF, Parsons has made unofficial campus visits to Miami and Arizona State. Stay with USFBullsEYE.com for more on Parsons as his recruitment develops.