Jabari Parker to Duke: Blue Devils Land Coveted Basketball Recruit

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IDecember 20, 2012

Photo Credit: USA Today
Photo Credit: USA Today

Jabari Parker, 247 Sports' No. 5-ranked recruit in the 2013 class, has announced his plans to take his talents to Duke, according to the Detroit Free Press' Joe Rexrode:

Jabari Parker picks Duke.

— Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) December 20, 2012

Parker is a 6'8", 215-pound small forward out of Chicago's Simeon Career Academy. He is very athletic, but it is his feel for the game that pushes him to the top of the recruiting chain. 

This young man plays with tremendous instincts that already have him looking like a battle-tested NBA veteran on the court. 

Offensively, he is the whole package. He can shoot, finish at the rim and dominate smaller players in the post. Check out these highlights, and it will become quickly apparent that this rising star is a force on the offensive end. 

Though he is not an excellent ball-handler, he is definitely competent enough in that area to take like-sized defenders or bigger off the dribble. 

Jabari Parker commits to Duke twitter.com/BleacherReport…

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 20, 2012

And this is part of the nightmare Parker will create for opposing coaches—they will have to pick their poison. If they put smaller defenders on him, he will bury them with his refined mid-range game. 

This is going to leave Parker seeing his share of double-teams, but opponents aren't likely to find a lot of success in this regard either. While his less-than-excellent handles leave him vulnerable to turnovers, this is where his advanced feel for the game comes to his rescue. 

Parker is a selfless player with impressive court vision. He always has an eye out for an open teammate, and he has shown a great feel for passing out of double-teams.

As a result, he seldom makes a bad decision when the ball is in his hands. 

Parker would have to add serious bulk to be an elite rebounder, but he can crash the boards and will contribute both offensively and defensively on the glass. 

Defensively, he is solid but can be exploited by more athletic small forwards. Parker's height saps his lateral quickness, and he can sometimes get caught in traffic and lose track of his man. 

At 215 pounds, Parker could stand to add some strength. This would help him be a better finisher and score through contact, but that is expected to come with age. 

Parker will be a solid player right off the bat, and with some added bulk, the sky is the limit for this talented and well-rounded youngster.