In recent days there has been heavy discussion about what Duke forward Jabari Parker is going to do after the college basketball season ends, a discussion which has been stoked by the freshman superstar declaring he is unsure over whether to put his name in the 2014 NBA Draft. And while this discussion is worth having, anyone who watched Parker absolutely dominate the North Carolina Tar Heels in a 93-81 victory on Saturday night knows that he is simply too good to stay in college past this season.
During Saturday’s victory Parker put up a state line for the ages, compiling 30 points, 11 rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. This pure statistical output doesn’t show the full display the forward put on though, as he seemed to be everywhere on the court, and was doing all the right things as well. Whether it was moving the scoring in transition, attacking the basket, playing shut down defense, shooting mid, medium and long range shots, or even just hitting free throws, there was nothing that Parker didn’t do on the night. It looked like he knew it would be his last match at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and he played up to the moment.
Aside from just this fantastic game against Duke’s arch rivals, it is clear that Parker has compiled the type of resume throughout the season which he will have to leave behind in favor of professional basketball. For the whole of the season he has averaged 18.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steals per game this year, and has taken college basketball by storm in the process. Not since Kevin Durant graced the court for Texas has there been a more complete player in college basketball than Parker, and he has displayed all that made him so great against UNC on a nightly basis.
As Duke heads into the ACC and NCAA Tournament there is no doubting that they will be reliant on Parker to be his usual self in order for the team to be successful, and this should be no issue. The freshman superstar is the complete package, should be the winner of the Wooden Award, and ultimately will have to feel that there is nothing left to accomplish in college heading into the summer. With that in mind, Parker will be forced to enter the 2014 NBA Draft, where he could will in all likelihood become the No. 1 overall pick.