Duke Basketball Recruiting: Highlighting Players in McDonald's All-American Game

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2013

Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com
Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com

Duke fans, you can take a glimpse of your future on Wednesday night.

The best high school basketball players will converge on Chicago for the 2013 McDonald's All-American Game.

Aside from simply being a celebration of the best high-schoolers in the country, the event gives fans of the biggest college basketball teams in the nation an opportunity to see some of the stars who will be suiting up next season.

Much has been made of Kentucky's recruiting class, and rightfully so. The Wildcats will have a whopping six players in the game.

Blue Devils fans will just have to settle for two—Jabari Parker and Matt Jones. What Duke lacks in volume, it makes up for in terms of ability. Both Parker and Jones have the chance to become key contributors for Mike Krzyzewski. If you've been living under a rock for the last few months and have no idea who those two are, here is a brief report of what they'll be bringing to Durham, N.C.


Jabari Parker

Had it not been for Andrew Wiggins, Parker would be the top recruit in the 2013 class. Instead, he must be content with No. 2.

It's not like Duke cares.

There are few things that Parker can't do on the court. Offensively he's a monster.

He's an athletic 6'8" forward who can find all kinds of ways to score. Parker isn't a lights-out shooter, but he's competent enough to keep defenses honest. They simply can't sag off and let him drive, which is where he's at his best. Parker is extremely good at penetrating and getting into the post. If he gets past his man, you're in trouble.

On the other end, defense is his biggest weakness. He can be beaten in one-one-one situations. You'd expect that to improve as he learns from Coach K and gets experience on the Division I level.

With his physical tools, Parker is at a huge advantage because he can play the 3. He'll have a height advantage, while not surrendering any sort of edge in terms of speed.


Matt Jones

Jones is a fantastic scorer. He's perhaps the best shooter in the 2013 class.

You couldn't think of a more perfect fit for him. Duke lived and died by the three-pointer this year. The Blue Devils shot 39.9 percent from behind the arc, good for sixth in the country.

Jones will be a great replacement for Seth Curry in terms of offense. The senior guard led the team in three-pointers. Curry wasn't tasked with leading the offense and facilitating open shots for his teammates. Shooting was his top priority, and with a 43.8 percent clip from long range, it's easy to see why.

With Curry graduating, Jones can step right in to the role of three-point specialist. He won't be able to match Curry in terms of talent, but there's no reason to think he can't be a key player next year.