Heading into the Champions Classic, all eyes were on Jabari Parker’s Duke Blue Devils and Andrew Wiggins’ Kansas Jayhawks and the two teams provided one heck of a tip off event to the 2013 college basketball season. While Wiggins and KU prevailed, Parker and Duke actually got the long-term victory because now the Blue Devils are more dangerous than ever.
For whatever reason, Parker and his team have gone mostly overlooked in all the hype surrounding Wiggins this year. Parker outplayed Wiggins on Tuesday night, but Kansas won the game with a great all-around team effort. Now that the titanic showdown is over, even more eyes will be on Wiggins, which means no more attention or pressure for Parker. So come tournament time, the pressure will be on the kid who has less mental toughness.
That’s the thing about Parker — he’s very intelligent, which makes him a great NBA prospect because he can handle the long, grueling season from a mental aspect. That will give him an advantage in March when players like Wiggins exert all their energy early on. Add in the fact everyone will count Duke out from the start, and don’t be surprised to see Parker and Coach K cutting down the nets this spring.