It was the Jabari Parker show on Friday Night. The Duke Blue Devils‘ freshman sensation struck early and often and lived up to his star billing. He showcased his variety of skills with crafty moves in the post, knocking down shots from mid range and beyond the arc, and making a couple of dazzling full-court passes look effortless.
Parker scored 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-3 from deep, while adding six rebounds, two assists and a block.
He is the total package offensively. The thing that separates Parker from most is his basketball IQ. He seems to know where his teammates are on the court at all times and is almost a point guard in an athletic 6-foot-8 frame.
We may be seeing the best freshman to come around in quite a long time in Parker. This wasn’t all about Parker, though. Lead guard Rodney Hood had a really strong showing with 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting and nine rebounds. Combo guard Quinn Cook also showed his offensive ability in putting up 21 points to go along with eight assists.
Hood and Parker may be the best one-two combination in the country. They both have a knack for the bucket. With these two leading the way, the Blue Devils are in very good hands and will certainly contend for a National Title.
People were ready to hand freshman phenom Andrew Wiggins the crown for National Player of the Year before the season even started. Parker made one loud statement tonight: Not so fast. Parker is certainly in the conversation and if he keeps playing this way will be at the top of the list.
The beauty of all this? The two mega talents square off next Tuesday night. You won’t want to miss that one.