It’s Saturday night/Sunday morning, & we have gone through 3 days of an amazing NCAA Tournament so far. We have seen last minute buzzer-beaters, great comebacks, passionate fans on Twitter, & everything you could possibly ask for while watching quite possibly the greatest tournament in all of sports, professional & college.
We have seen top teams go down to Cinderellas, we have seen top teams also dominate & we have seen young players step up & old seniors show that experience can sometimes beat pure talent.
Jabari Parker was one of the most heralded freshmen in the country coming out of high school in Chicago. When he made the decision to go to Duke, we knew that he was going to get good teaching from Coach K as well as be on a team that can compete for a national championship.
Well, the first part is definitely right. Parker did become a solid player under Krzyzewski, but his Duke Blue Devils were not a complete team enough to beat a 15-seed in Mercer on Friday, & what made it so odd to watch on TV was that Mercer muscled Duke around & made the Blue Devils take 37 3-point shots, the most in years under Coach K.
This year, the Blue Devils didn’t have the team makeup that was made for a championship run. No big men down low as the Plumlee boys were all gone & the one that is there now, Marshall Plumlee, wasn’t as prominent in the NCAA Tournament, but will probably be a stud next year. Sulaimon, Cook & Dawkins are mostly jump shooters right now.
Basically, the team was built around Parker being the star, & he was humbled on the biggest stage. While Parker may end up going to the NBA as he is projected by ESPN & other publications to be the #2 pick overall coming out, he should come back & grow as a player with this team. Parker has not made any real decision on whether he is coming out in June’s draft, but the idea has to be in Parker’s head that there is unfinished business to be taken care of, & with Duke’s freshman class & having a very experienced team coming back, Parker – & Duke – can become a powerhouse.
Plus, Parker would probably go to the Los Angeles Lakers or Philadephia 76ers. If he is with the Lakers, it ends up being a strong move & he can learn from Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest of all time. If he is with the 76ers, well……..he’s better off just being on Duke since the team they have right now could beat the crap out of the 76ers.