This originally appeared on MassLive.com
Monday’s 81-68 win over Oak Hill (Va.) was the second of three nationally televised games for Jabari Parker and his Simeon (Ill.) squad. The games are different but the product rarely changes as Simeon proves time and again that they are one of the best high school basketball factories in the country.
The first matchup was against DeSoto (Tex.) earlier in the year with Parker facing off with his future Duke teammate Matt Jones. In a rare loss, Simeon used the opportunity to give some of the team’s younger players some exposure while showcasing their trademark style.
“We always get the exposure but now it’s more on the national scene,” Parker said. “We’re one of the few public schools with discipline, that’s what our coaches teach. We’re a good team and we’ve got some of the best coaches in the country.”
The younger players, like sophomores D.J. Williams and Edward Morrow, have taken the opportunity to garner offers from some Division I schools and show what they can do alongside a great player like Parker. Williams has been offered by Illinois while Morrow has looked promising in the post.
“We’re just trying to get them used to it leading up to college and preparing them for big time games,” Parker said.
While Jones was the matchup in the first game, the closest matchup he had on Monday was with Indiana-bound Troy Williams. The two only found themselves on each other a few times during the course of the game with Parker usually trying to get the smaller Williams on his back.
“He’s one of the few real good players in the country,” Parker said. “I just try to go out with the same mentality. We don’t really know each other so I want to get back together with him.”
As for the foot injury that hampered him throughout the summer and early season, Parker believes he is as close to 100 percent as possible. Offering no excuses, Parker said that whenever he’s on the court, he’s ready to play.
Even in a game where he scored 28 points and made his case to be the No. 1 player in the country again, Parker could still find areas to improve. When the PA announcer read his impressive statline which read “28 points and five rebounds,” Parker’s reaction said it all.
Under his breath his lips read “man, only five?”