Jaquone Parker never balked at the notion of playing, essentially, power forward in the Cincinnati Bearcats new look offense after the brawl. Parker put on his hard hat, grabbed his lunch pail, and went to work kicking asses much larger than his own. And now he is back where he belongs.
The play of Jaquon Parker was one of the highlights of the season for me last year. His toughness and effort turned his assignment to guard, usually, the opposing power forward from what was, on paper, a massive weakness into something of a strength.
For the year Parker averaged 9 and 5, playing power forward as a guy who used to be a point guard of sorts. He routinely made plays on the offensive glass that belied his size. Among those in the rotation Parker's offensive rebounding rate was third to Justin Jackson and Yancy Gates.
This year Parker won't be asked to play that role nearly as much. The team will better off for it, but I am going to miss his regular forrays on the offensive glass. I guess its the Roman in me that really wants to see a man fight a lion, and win.
If anything Parker will be more effective this year as a perimeter player for the Bearcats. His slashing attacks of the bucket will be more open, and more effective, this season with the floor spaced with four shooters at a time. That doesn't even call to attention Parker's three point shooting which was really good. Parker shot 37 per cent from three a year ago.
Jaquon is a senior who is looking to go out with a bang this year, as is his back court mate Cashmere Wright. There will be a lot of opportunities to make that happen this year.