2014 NCAA Tournament: Jabari Parker Comes Up Small As Duke Blue Devils Stunned By Mercer Bears

By Ryan Wenzell
Jabari Parker NCAA Tournament
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Jabari Parker seemed nervous all game and struggled mightily as the Duke Blue Devils were ousted by the Mercer Bears.What exactly was the problem? Parker and the Blue Devils as a whole simply looked out of sorts. They relied far too much on the three-point shot, and while they shot it well that is not their game. They usually play an inside out type of ball game with Parker and company in the post and get open looks at the basket.

Far too often they forced shots, and Parker in particular tried to force the issue. He finished 4-for-14 from the field with 14 points. Those are inefficient numbers for the usually mega-efficient Parker. It certainly was a disappointing showing for a young fella expected to carry this team on his back as a freshman similar to the way Carmelo Anthony did all those years ago. This begs the question: What is Parker’s future?

He certainly expected to go further than this. One of his good friends from Chicago, Jahlil Okafor, is also coming to Durham next fall. Then again, staying another season there is always the risk of a catastrophic injury.

Despite this performance I don’t think there is any doubt that Parker is going to be a top 3 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The question is if the kid wants to continue his college experience or go for the big money now.

But that’s a question for another day. For now a brilliant freshman season has ended in disappointment. There will certainly be brighter days ahead for this ultra-talented forward.

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