It is amazing how we could throw insurmountably high expectations on a player most of us have not seen play. Instead of actually watching some tape ourselves, we rely on second or sometimes even third-hand accounts of why some guys are awesome. That is not to say they are not “awesome”, but it seems like everyone “knows” how great player x is before he even steps foot on a college court.
Jabari Parker is a player that the public has actually seen play. Unlike many other recruits over the years, ESPN and the like have thrown his high school games on national TV for all of us to enjoy and break down to the point of needless shot-charts — because, you know, high school success ”always” translates to college.
Now that the Duke Blue Devils have officially landed the top recruit (he, along with Andrew Wiggins, were everyone’s top-two recruits), the “how will Parker help” or “Parker puts Duke over the top” talk has begun. While that may be theoretically true, the talk would also be ignoring the fact that Duke is losing their top three players from last season.
The Blue Devils, however, do return some more than just productive players from last season. Alas, none of that seems to matter as Duke is already being perceived as Parker’s team. As if a guy who has yet to put on a Blue Devils uniform has already taken over the positions of leader, playmaker and all-around juggernaut just by signing his letter of intent.
I am not saying Parker won’t end up being great for however long he plans on staying with the program. I guess what I am trying to say — in the most roundabout way as humanly possible — is relax, give the kid a minute and wait for the season to start before you start adding the Lebron James comparisons to the kid on Wikipedia.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone