Duke Blue Devils' Jabari Parker Needs A Big Performance Against Pittsburgh

By Trevor Lowry
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

The Duke Blue Devils and Pittsburgh Panthers will be battling it out later on tonight. Both teams need the victory to keep pace with the undefeated Syracuse Orange. Duke’s Jabari Parker has to have a big performance if the Blue Devils are going to have any chance in this game.

There is clearly plenty of talent outside of Parker. Rodney Hood is averaging 17.7 points per game.

However, Parker struggled in Duke’s two ACC losses. He scored seven points against Notre Dame and he scored 15 points against Clemson. He also only shot a combined 7-of-23 from the field.

Basketball is a team sport and Parker’s poor shooting performances were not the only reason why Duke lost those two games. He is the most talented player on the court and he is going to make it much easier on this team if he plays at a high level, though.

Parker had another poor shooting night against Florida State last game–shot 3-of-13 from the field. He did have 14 points and 14 rebounds, though.

Other players are clearly going to have to step up and containing Lamar Patterson will be key. Patterson is averaging 17.9 points per game, 4.8 rebounds per game and 4.7 assists per game. He has probably been the best player in the ACC ever since conference play started.

This contest will be played on the road for the Blue Devils, which will make it that much tougher.

Pittsburgh is tied for second place in the conference standings and it has only lost two games on the season.

Syracuse has the talent to run the table in conference play, so dropping a third game will not bode well for Duke. If Parker comes up big, the Blue Devils’ chances of winning at Pittsburgh becomes that much better. No pressure, though.

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