Duke Basketball: Jabari Parker a Perfect Fit for the Blue Devils
After signing Amile Jefferson and Rasheed Sulaimon, the Duke Blue Devils are looking ahead to the 2013 recruiting class in hopes of bringing in Jabari Parker.
Parker, a senior at Simeon Career Academy, is ranked No. 1 in the 2013 recruiting class, according to Rivals.com. The 17-year-old small forward from Illinois was the recipient the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2012, and hopes to commit to a school by November.
Parker’s list of potential schools is at ten, with plans to narrow it to five soon in order to make visits to campuses, according to Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago.
Parker’s 3.7 high school GPA and dedication to Mormonism proves that this kid is humble, smart and the real deal. His presence on any basketball team will undoubtedly help that team reach their goals.
After losing Austin Rivers, Miles Plumlee and Michael Gbinije this year, the Blue Devils would love to sign Parker. He would replenish a lot of lost offense and strenghten hopes of winning a third national championship since 2001.
Help Replace Lost Offense
Austin Rivers was selected 10th overall to the New Orleans Hornets
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
After losing Austin Rivers and Miles Plumlee, the Blue Devils will also say goodbye to Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly following the 2012-2013 season.
These were the top six scorers for the Blue Devils during the 2011-2012 season, and they accounted for 85 percent of Duke's total points last year.
Austin Rivers was selected 10th overall by the New Orleans Hornets in the 2012 NBA draft following a phenomenal freshman year.
The 6’4" guard only played one year with the Blue Devils, but his impact was huge. His 15.5 points per game led the team, and his leadership is an intangible that will be missed.
Parker would soften the blow of losing the one-and-done Rivers, and replace some lost offense of forwards Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly.
Compete with New Rivals in the ACC
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
The Syracuse Orange the and Pittsburgh Panthers will join the Atlantic Coast Conference in either the 2013 or 2014 season.
The additions of Syracuse and Pitt will make the ACC the best conference in college basketball, without a doubt.
Although Pitt did have an off-year, expect them to bounce back this season.
Syracuse is coming off an outstanding season in which it posted a 34-3 overall record and was ranked No. 2 overall by the Associated Press. The Orange’s depth and the high-caliber coaching of Jim Boeheim will pose a threat to the Blue Devils and Coach K.
Now Duke adds a few more tough games to an already tough conference schedule, which includes games against North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia and N.C. State
If Parker elects to attend Duke, he will be a great counter to the high-powered offense of Syracuse. His quickness and ability to rebound should match up well against Boeheim and the Orange’s famous zone defense.
Help with Rebounding
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
After losing Miles Plumlee, the Blue Devil’s rebounding will take a big hit in the 2012-2013 season. Then following the 2012-2013 season, Duke will lose Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly, accounting for the top three rebounders of the past two seasons.
Not to mention that the Blue Devils rebounding could already use some improvement. Duke was third in the ACC, but 69th nationally.
No player on the team averaged more than 10 rebounds a game. Parker’s size down low could help the team grab some boards, assuming his rebounding game develops.
Parker’s one weakness is his lack of explosiveness, as per Jonathan Givony via draftexpress.com, but his basketball I.Q. and good attitude will help him develop into an exceptional rebounder.
Parker’s a very coachable player. If he attends Duke, Coach K can change him into the type of player that fits in well with an already outstanding program.
Win a National Title
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
The overall goal of every NCAA basketball team is to win the National Championship.
Any school Parker decides to attend will most likely be one of the favorites for a national title, and Duke, already a powerhouse school, would greatly benefit from the best high school player since Lebron James.
Parker’s skills and intangibles can help Duke reach a new level. With the addition of Parker, Duke can consider national title favorite.
Duke already has four national titles, all under the NCAA’s winningest coach, Mike Krzyzewski. In his remaining time, it is safe to assume he has a shot at another title.