FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The biggest buzz around the City of Palms Classic Wednesday had nothing to do with any of the players participating.
Everyone wanted to know what school Simeon (Chicago) forward Jabari Parker would pick when he announces his decision today at 4 p.m. on ESPNU.
We polled 10 players here at the City of Palms Classic and all but one predicted Duke as Parker’s college destination.
Tifton County (Tifton, Ga.) shooting guard Brannen Greene, a Kansas signee, said that he thinks Parker “will end up picking Michigan State.”
“That’s just what I’m hearing, but who knows,” Greene said. “I’ve heard that talking to different people, but the only person who knows is Jabari. Guess we’ll find out Thursday.”
LB Poly wing Chatman ruled ineligible
Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) wing Kameron Chatman has been ruled ineligible by the California Interscholastic Federation.
The Jackrabbits appealed the decision and got word on Tuesday that the ruling would stand, according to Chatman, who remained in street clothes through the first two games at the City of Palms Classic.
“It’s crazy,” said Chatman, who is widely regarded as one of the country’s top junior wings. “I don’t know what to think.”
The CIF found that Sharrief Metoyer coached Chatman on a travel team last summer, which had an influence on Chatman’s decision to transfer this season from Jefferson (Portland).
“They said I was recruited to play; I don’t plan on leaving here,” Chatman said of Poly. “The only thing I know is that I can’t play this year.”
Randle settles into new role
Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) forward Julius Randle sat on the bench during Wednesday’s game against Southwind (Memphis) and embraced his new role, albeit temporary, of “honorary assistant coach.”
Randle fractured his foot during a Thanksgiving tournament and is expected to miss two more months potentially, but that didn’t stop him from cheering on his teammates and giving them pointers throughout the game.
“I think it’s important that they see me out there doing all I can to help them out,” said Randle, who is ranked No. 2 in the Rivals150. “I don’t want to be a good teammate just when things are going good for me so I decided to come down here and help out however I could.”
The Lions ended up losing, 82-44.
Randle’s message? Move on.
“They can’t dwell on that,” Randle said. “I just told them that it’s over and we’re on to the next game. We’ve got a really young team and they’re learning a lot right now. They’re giving everything they’ve got, that’s all you can really ask for.”
No nerves for Johnson
Southwind (Memphis) shooting guard JaJuan Johnson, a Marquette signee, doesn’t typically have a problem out of his teammates getting star struck by college coaches sitting on the sidelines.
“Our starting five all played AAU so we’re used to seeing all the big time coaches on the sidelines watching us,” Johnson, a senior, said.
Still, there were a few times that the reserves on his team got star struck by the high profile coaches in attendance at the City of Palms Classic Wednesday, an offense that Johnson was swift to correct.
“A few times they’d get wide-eyed or something and I just look at them and shut it down,” Johnson said. “I just say ‘Come on bruh, come on bruh; act professional.’ That usually does the trick.”
Johnson is Mr. Perfect
Montverde (Montverde, Fla.) center Dakari Johnson went 11 of 11 from the field and finished with 23 points in the Eagles’ 79-35 win over Bishop Verot (Fort Myers, Fla.) Wednesday at the City of Palms Classic.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter @JayJayUSATODAY.