The Aztecs recently secured a commitment from Micah Parrish, a 6-6 transfer from Oakland. Parrish’s commitment likely means the end of the recruiting season for SDSU.
Parrish doesn’t jump out the way other recent transfers have. He’s not coming from a power program like Malachi Flynn or Matt Bradley. He wasn’t the star player on a mid-major team like K.J. Feagin or Darrion Trammell. He was the fourth option on a team ranked 188th in the nation according to KenPom. What is it that the coaches saw in him then?
What does Parrish bring on defense?
Parrish brings great size and physicality to the position. At 6’6”, 195 lbs he is a little skinny for his height, but he plays above his weight. He has no trouble banging with players down low on either end of the floor. A monster like David Roddy may be a bit much for him, but he will be able to hold his own defensively against both wings and power forwards.
What makes Parrish special defensively is his versatility. At Oakland he was used as the primary defender in the full court press, he was the top defender in their 1-3-1 zone defense, and would also cover forwards in their man defense. He is a player that can reliably guard most any player on the floor at any given time. That makes him very attractive in the switch heavy scheme the Aztecs run.
For those that like numbers Parrish had a steal percentage of 2.7% last season, which would’ve ranked 4th on last season’s team.
He also tends to attack the defensive glass, which should help as SDSU’s defensive rebounding was problematic at times last season.
If there is a concern, it’s that Oakland played a lot of zone defense last season. It may take some time for Parrish to get accustomed to the Aztecs’ style.
Overall Parrish seems like the heir apparent to Aguek Arop in the sense that he’s a player who can guard most anyone on the opposing team and do so well.
What does Parrish bring on offense?
Parrish does some things offensively that are really attractive. The first thing is that he shot 37% from deep on 123 attempts. Teams can never have enough shooters. He shouldn’t be expected to provide the volume of shots needed to generate a lot of gravity, but he has the ability to burn defenses for helping off of him.
Parrish also has some ability down by the basket. He has enough back-to-the-basket moves and touch around the rim to be a threat on the block.
He shot almost 80% on his free throws, and had a high free throw rate, which helps his efficiency. The Aztecs struggled at the line last season, so adding another 80% shooter in a major boon.
One attribute that the team lacked last season was aggression. Too many players would settle for long 2’s rather than attacking the rim. Parrish doesn’t do that. All of his shots come at the rim or from behind the arc. He has a very analytically favorable shot selection.
Another really specific attribute Parrish brings is ball handling at the forward position. Oakland would often use him as a press breaker and play initiator. They would have Parrish bring the ball up the floor against pressure and then pass the ball after crossing half court. His ability to handle the ball can help a lot against pressure defenses, where the Aztecs often struggled last season.
Parrish won’t be asked to create for himself or others much. He can occasionally create shots for himself, especially close to the basket, but most of his made shots will be assisted.
Parrish will spend most of his time as a small forward within the offense, and will likely fill in as a stretch 4 at times as well. He may start slow, but as the season progresses expect Parrish to find his groove on both sides of the floor. He’s not great at anything on the floor, but he has an amazing amount of versatility that will let him play in a lot of different lineups.