Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Jabari Parker gets better as he nears a place in Duke history

February 10, 2014 Columns 1 Comment

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – By now Jabari Parker’s reputation has been well-established. He’s been the top player in his class in high school, has fallen off from that and overshadowed by others, and has reminded people at times just how good he is as a college freshman.

Even so, his performance in Duke’s 89-66 win at Boston College might be his best one to date. He looked like a man among boys in more ways than one, and while it was a 6-17 Eagles team that he did it against, he was one of the youngest players on the floor all night. When the season is over, he might be in a class by himself in his program’s history.

“Jabari was a monster today with the amount of rebounds and points,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “He wasn’t rewarded sometimes on his aggressiveness on the offensive boards with his finishes, otherwise it could have been a 35, 36-point night.”

The box score shows that Parker had career highs with 29 points and 16 rebounds. He was as dominant as those numbers suggest. Most impressive is that he was 12-17 from the field, with just one three-point attempt. He worked to get some easy baskets, especially in transition, and at times he made it look easy in the halfcourt.

“He scored inside, he scored on the break, and was very efficient, 12-17 and only one shot was a three,” said Krzyzewski. “He scored while moving a lot, so it wasn’t against a set defense a lot of times.”

Early on, you could see he was primed to dominate the Eagles. On a few occasions, he overpowered a defender inside for a basket. He made grown man power moves and couldn’t be stopped. But then he would also show his athleticism with his finishes and running the floor.

“He has an extra pop,” said BC head coach Steve Donahue. “It’s 6’8″, 235, but it’s extra explosiveness.”

And you understand why over 20 NBA scouts were in attendance. They tend to come when a team like Duke comes to town, anyway, but the attention naturally ramps up a bit when someone like Parker, a sure lottery pick, will be in the building.

When Duke broke the game open to start the second half, it was Parker who led the way. He scored the first five points on a dunk and a three-point play in transition, and then he and Quinn Cook, who Krzyzewski said is playing more like he was in earlier in the season, led an 18-0 run that put the game out of reach. Parker continued, playing 38 minutes before finally resting, something Krzyzewski was happy to see.

“Usually we have to sub him, because he gets tired,” said the legendary coach. “This is really the first game that I’ve seen him where he’s playing so well and he played through tired. It’s something a really good player has to learn to do, to be able to keep performing when you’re tired, and he did.”

In other words, Parker appears to have taken another big step forward.

Krzyzewski has coached a lot of great players in his illustrious career. The school has had numerous All-Americans and NBA players and likely has more to come, especially with the star-studded group of high school seniors they signed in November. But one thing they have never had is a freshman lead the team in scoring and rebounding, although two freshmen have led them in scoring and six have led them in rebounding. Right now, Parker leads the team comfortably in both categories, especially after his big game on Saturday. As he continues to put up the numbers he has, it looks more and more like he could accomplish that.

Think about that. All the talent that has come through Durham in the legendary coach’s tenure, which includes four national championships and many All-Americans, and Parker could be the first freshman to lead them in scoring and rebounding. Danny Ferry didn’t lead them in either category his freshman year, nor did Christian Laettner or Grant Hill in theirs. Elton Brand led them in rebounding but not in scoring. J.J. Redick, the ACC’s second all-time leading scorer, didn’t lead them in scoring as a freshman.

In other words, he’s well on his way to accomplishing something that hasn’t happened before, and it comes after there were plenty of players who were capable of doing it.

Parker will continue to be compared and contrasted to his fellow freshmen, as has been the case all along. It’s part and parcel of how we measure players nowadays when they first get to college, especially when they’re part of a celebrated group of young men like this freshman class. Regardless of where people ultimately place him, whether it’s fans, media or NBA personnel, he’s en route to placing himself in a unique position in Duke’s history, and that’s not something to take lightly.

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Matt Borrello says:


    No question, Jabari Parker is a top 3 pick in the upcoming draft, but the reality is that this was a match up for him to have a “stat sheet stuffer” of a night. Ryan Anderson is the only presence BC has down in the post and he isn’t even that physical. Jabari did not have to work that hard Saturday night – 20 of those points did not require much work.

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 12, 2017

January 12, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a short stint in the top spot of the polls, some developments in the Mountain West Conference, and more of the ACC before closing with the Big East and Atlantic 10.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the great games Kentucky has been a part of lately. We go on to other ACC matters involving arch rivals, as well as some quick hits and a conference race that should be as good as expected.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 16, 2016

December 16, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a coaching legend reaching a milestone, the defending champs looking very good and continuing their winning ways close to home, and some off-court news during a light week of game action.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 29, 2016

November 29, 2016 by

Early season tournaments are the focus in this episode, with a look at how strong a few Big East teams are out of the gate and how strong the ACC could be. Plus one SEC team had a big week outside the scope of tournaments.

Talking Hoops with Ted Sarandis – November 17, 2016

November 17, 2016 by

In our first edition of Talking Hoops with Ted Sarandis, we look at some of the early games and the impressions we can draw, as well as what we can expect over the course of the season.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.