Following a first-round upset at the hands of 14th seeded Mercer, Duke freshman Jabari Parker needs to make the decision to stay in school or head to the NBA and millions of dollars. It’s a tough choice to make, but Parker needs to stay for one more season and round out his game.
According to ESPN’s recruiting nation, Duke has the No. 1 recruiting class for the 2014-15 season, which could mean a bit less press for Parker, though, playing alongside top recruit Jahlil Okafor would allow Parker to show even more of his talent.
Parker led Duke in scoring and rebounds in his first collegiate season and has been touted as an NBA lottery pick since his high school days. By staying at Duke for next season, Parker would likely be part of a dominant team that could definitely be considered national title front-runners.
In his first NCAA tournament game, Parker looked almost timid early and struggled throughout the game. For a competitive player, it is hard to walk away with a bad showing as your last hurrah, and Parker may have given credence to that thought with his post-game comments today when he told the media after the game that he felt his career is incomplete.
There would be no shame in heading for the NBA and all the money right now; although even if Parker came back and had a disappointing season next year, he would have to try very hard to not be a top-10 pick with his size and skill set, so the money will still be there next year. And he could look a lot cooler driving his sports car around with a national championship ring on his finger.