Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of Mychal Parker’s development during his two-year stay at Maryland was one which fans couldn’t see, much less appreciate.

A “solid C+” student in high school, according to a 2010 Rivals.com article (subscription required) reviewing his senior season at The Miller School, Parker came to Gary Williams with obvious athletic gifts but less spectacular off-the-court assets.

That changed for the better at Maryland, former Miller School coach Scott Willard said Monday.

How, exactly?

“Really, just maturity,” he said. “Maturity in how you spend your time going to class. Obviously, valuing what an education is worth past basketball. I think with each year, he’s been in tough situations. He’s had two coaches in two years. That’s plenty of excuse to not handle your academics because your world hasn’t been going exactly how it was mapped out, but he’s handled it maturely.”

Even as Parker packs up his belongings and moves away from College Park with a more orderly and in-control life, Willard said he’ll need the exact opposite from a basketball program to succeed. “The least structured” system, Willard believes, will be the most accommodating for Parker’s particular skill set.

“He’s great in the open court,” Willard said. “He’s actually a fantastic passer for a wing guard. Anyone who really likes to open it up will be something that fits into Mike’s playing style. But really, I think the relationship with the coach and the coaching staff is going to be important. He’s been in college for two years now, so I think he knows what to look for and will have a better vantage point in picking a new school.”

xcxjsshaffer@baltsun.com

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