Duke Basketball

Jabari Parker to Duke: Blue Devils Fans Should Be Excited, Yet Cautious

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05:  2011 Sportsman of the Year Mike Krzyzewski speaks onstage at the 2012 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award presentation at Espace on December 5, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
Jon ReidCorrespondent IIDecember 20, 2012

Thursday afternoon, the Duke Basketball program received a major boost, when one of the nation's top recruits, Jabari Parker, made the decision to commit to the program.

According to ESPN, Parker is the No. 2 overall recruit in the country, and was at one point the top recruit in his class, before Andrew Wiggins re-classified to join the 2013 recruitment class.

With Duke undefeated so far in 2012-13 and sitting atop all major national polls, the Blue Devils will be delighted that they now have Jabari Parker joining fellow top-50 recruit Matt Jones and Semi Ojeleye to reload heading into next season.

As a 6'8" small forward, who can score from anywhere on the floor, Parker will create major matchup problems for opponents.

Parker is also a skilled rebounder and has no problem moving the ball either.

Yet, some questions still need to be answered now that Parker has committed to Duke.

For instance, what happens to Rasheed Sulaimon, who's been so impressive in his freshman year, especially at the defensive end of the court.

Sulaimon and Parker are similar players and with both likely to be on the team next year, will Duke move Sulaimon to the 2-spot? If so, how will he adjust?

He may have been a shooting guard in high school, but he will have played most of his freshman season at small forward.

Could they end up moving 2012's No. 12 recruit to the bench behind Parker if he doesn't succeed in moving from the small forward position back to playing the 2? If so, how will he react to being benched?

While I have no doubts Coach Mike Krzyzewski will have a plan, there are still some questions about next season.

The second concern about Parker's game is his ability to defend his man off the dribble.

That's still considered one of his weaknesses.

The other reason for caution among Blue Devils fans is that Jabari Parker may be the next player to stay at Duke for one year before departing for the NBA.

With the idea of being a "one-and-done" type player becoming more prevalent in today's collegiate game, Parker will most likely stay for just his freshman season.

Is adding Parker a huge boost for Duke's men's basketball program? Undoubtedly.

It would be wise to temper some of the excitement that is sure to ensue thanks to Parker`s commitment though.

 

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