Jabari Parker is one of the most talented freshman to come into Duke ever. He has great footwork, versatility, shooting, finishing and athleticism. He will be one of the top players for a team that will challenge for a National Championship. Jabari has been overshadowed by Andrew Wiggins, but has consistently shown he will be a college star and future NBA star.
In the current one-and-done college format, players as talented as Parker don’t stay more then one season in college. Duke has had two players like this recently, in Kyrie Irving and Austin Rivers. This limits the legacy a player of Parker’s talent can have at their college. That is normally the case, but this quote from Jabari Parker may suggest otherwise, “I may play in college for two or three years. It doesn’t matter to me. I want to go to school. That’s important to me. I just want to go to school. I want to have some years in college. But I don’t know what the circumstances are going to be.”
Jabari Parker is an extremely talented player, but the overall impact he can make in just one season is limited. The fact he may stay multiple years can give Duke hope that he could make a huge impact on the Duke basketball program. We have yet to see Parker in a Duke jersey, but he could be a special player for the Blue Devils. If he lives up to the extreme expectations he has, Duke will be in for a great show.
This years team is already setting up to be a great team. Duke is one of eight teams I currently see as Championship contenders (Louisville, Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Michigan, Michigan St, Arizona, and Ohio St). Jabari Parker will be one of the leaders, even as a freshman, and looks prime to put up monster numbers. A great freshman year and deep tournament run would set him up for an even better sophomore year, should he decide to stay.
Jabari Parker has a great team around him his freshman year, but the team could be even better his sophomore year. Duke seems to be high on the list for top recruits Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor, and Rasheed Sulaimon and Rodney Hood could return to Duke as well. A starting lineup of Quinn Cook, Jones, Sulaimon or Hood, Parker, and Okafor would be one of the best ever in college basketball. Duke will lose some of its depth to graduation, Josh Hairston, Tyler Thorton, and Andre Dawkins, but much will remain. Marshall Plumlee, Alex Murphy, Amile Jefferson, Matt Jones and Grayson Allen will all be great bench players for Duke next season. This is a team that will have huge title aspirations and would have a great chance of winning the National Championship.
Even if Jabari Parker stayed just two years, he could do major damage with both those teams. If healthy, both teams have the ability to win a National Championship. If Parker helped lead to a National Championship and another deep tournament run, he could pass many of the recent Duke stars in terms of his Duke legacy. In a time where players overall impact is minimized, Parker could become one of the top college players of his time. He has the skill to do it, it just depends on him staying, health, the players around him, and a little luck. Jabari Parker could make huge strides in breaking the one-and-done mold, and make put himself high on the long list of Duke basketball legends.