The No. 6 Duke Blue Devils defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 74-64 in a game that saw Alabama’s best player, Trevor Releford, score zero points in the first half due to bad charging calls by the referee, as well as the Crimson Tide missing more than eight wide open layups. However lucky Duke may have been early against Alabama, Jabari Parker added more to the argument that he is the best player in college basketball by leading the Blue Devils to the NIT Season Tip-Off Finals.
Parker scored 27 points and completely outclassed every player on the court. Alabama would have won if it wasn’t for his scoring performance. Expect a lot more victories for the Blue Devils stemming from Parker’s dominance.
However, Duke has to have someone else step up besides Parker. Rodney Hood, the transfer from Mississippi State, has been playing extremely well and looks like a consistent scorer for the Blue Devils, but Parker and Hood won’t be able to carry this team to the Final Four single-handedly. Quinn Cook, who had a good game against Alabama in the absence of Hood, could be the key to Duke’s success, but he has to start scoring like that in big games.
Parker is hands down the best of the highly touted freshmen in the country. When it comes to the 2014 NBA Draft, Andrew Wiggins or Julius Randle may be selected first, but neither has made the type of impact all over the court that Parker has for their respective college teams. If Duke makes it to the Final Four, it will be on the back on Parker’s ability.