Former Georgia hoops target Tony Parker not quite happy at UCLA

semerson@macon.comJanuary 9, 2013 

ATHENS - Last spring, Brandon Morris sat in the crowd at Miller Grove High School and watched as his more highly-recruited basketball teammate, center Tony Parker, announced in a lavish ceremony that he was going to UCLA.

Morris, now a freshman at Georgia, indicated this week that Parker is having some regrets. And Parker himself hinted at that in a story published Wednesday.

"I actually talk to Tony a lot. I talked to him the other day, actually," Morris said on Tuesday, before Georgia headed to Florida. "He told me some things about it's not totally being what he expected."

But "a lot" of the problems stem from Parker's health, according to Morris, who said Parker was experiencing back spasms. That's impacting Parker's playing time.

"I know a lot of people are gonna wanna know, is he gonna wind up coming here, and stuff like that," Morris said, laughing. "It would be a great thing. It would definitely be a great thing. We love him down here. We all thing he should've came down here. And he's probably thinking the same thing.

"But at the end of the day it's up to him. Can't make his choices for him."

Parker answered "no comment" when asked by if he regretted coming to UCLA. Parker is averaging just 7.2 minutes per game for UCLA, which is 12-3, including a 60-56 win over Georgia on Nov. 20. (Parker played three minutes in that game, which was in Brooklyn.)

Georgia made a big run at Parker last year, but lost out to allure of UCLA. The Bulldogs sorely could have used the presence of the 6-foot-9 post player, who was rated a top 25 prospect nationally by most recruiting services.

It's not unusual for a college freshmen playing so far from home to get homesick, and an increase in playing time could be the antidote for Parker. Still, it's a situation that could be worth watching.

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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