Jabari Parker put on a show in Madison Square Garden. The fabulous freshman finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. A line not accomplished by a Duke Blue Devil freshman since Corey Maggette in 1998.
Parker can simply do anything on a basketball court. He has a silky smooth offensive game as evidenced by his better than 50 percent clip from the field and 50 percent success rate from downtown. He also got it done on the glass with 10 rebounds and down low in the post.
This kid has as complete and NBA-ready an offensive package for a freshman as has been seen in a long, long time. In my mind, he has bypassed Andrew Wiggins as the best freshman in the country and a front-runner to go No. 1 in the draft next year.
He has also vaulted himself to the top of the National Player of the Year conversation. Parker has been the go-to guy for the Blue Devils. He gets it done each and every night and has only scored under 20 points on two occasions all year.
While things are subject to change as it is only December, right now no player, freshman or otherwise is making as big and important an impact on his squad as Parker. That is the ultimate gauge for how valuable a player truly is to his team.
Scoring points is simply one facet of the ultra talented freshman’s game. He can defend both on the perimeter and in the post, he finds his teammates for open looks and he is active on the glass. He is the most versatile player in the country. He is also the best.
At this point in time, Parker is the best player in college basketball.