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Duke’s Jabari Parker doesn’t back away from Carmelo Anthony comparison

Dec 20, 2013, 6:29 PM EDT

Gardner-Webb v Duke Getty Images

We had Rob Dauster of NBC’s CollegeBasketballTalk on the PBT Podcast recently and when the topic of Jabari Parker came up Dauster mentioned Carmelo Anthony — a polished scorer with the ability to play the four, score inside, or stretch the floor out to the arc.

Dauster isn’t the only one to say that, it’s becoming a more common comparison — and one Parker is not backing away from.

Parker — who DraftExpress currently has as the No. 3 prospect in the upcoming draft — welcomed the comparison, speaking to Zagsblog after Parker’s Duke handily beat UCLA at Madison Square Garden Thursday.

“Yeah, it’s a good comparison,” Parker said after going for 23 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists as Duke beat UCLA, 80-63, in front of a capacity crowd that included Bruce Springsteen, Tyson Chandler and Tim Hardaway Jr.
“He mastered the fundamentals. He’s always good at his craft. He works on it and that’s a person I’ve been looking up to, so yeah, that’s good compliment.”

UCLA’s coach Steve Alford also made the Anthony comparison without being prompted.

“I know we’re in New York City, but there’s a lot of Melo in him as far as guy that can stretch you to the 3-point line,” Alford said. “He can drive the basketball. He creates space off the dribble to get jump shots. He can take you to the post, so I just think he’s a very, very talented, gifted player. And you don’t see a lot who are this polished 10, 11 games into their freshman year.”

Parker comes in with an NBA ready body and game — he can finish inside, has range on his jumper, can shoot off the bounce or off the catch, can play in the half court or transition.

His game is a great fit for college, but there are a few questions about how it translates to the NBA. He’s not a strong defender (insert your own “he is just like‘Melo” joke here), and he’s a tweaner who could find more athletic, longer players on him at the next level.

Still, if he can have anything close to ‘Melo’s career… that’s not bad. Not bad at all.

  1. tcclark - Dec 20, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    I’ve heard Tracy McGrady/Paul George for Wiggins and Melo for Parker so take your pick.

    Personally I’d take the 2/3 tweener over the 3/4 tweener so I’m still Riggin for Wiggins

    Sorry Jabari

    • dondada10 - Dec 21, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      Parker isn’t a tweener. He’s a tremendously talented small forward who is big enough to play the 4. Big difference.

      • florida727 - Dec 21, 2013 at 9:58 PM

        Couldn’t agree more. I laugh at the so-called “experts” that criticize this kid’s game. HE’S 19 FREAKING YEARS OLD. Two years from now he’ll be FAR more polished than he is now, and even now he’s being considered as a potential top pick in the draft. What the heck more do you want from him? Give him time.

  2. longtallsam - Dec 20, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    Well, if he’s not any better a defender than Carmello, and a high volume shooter like him also, he will probably also earn about the same number of championship rings.

    • nikedunks13 - Dec 21, 2013 at 4:09 AM

      It’s Carmelo and last time I checked he was still in the nba. I’m sure you also thought Dirk had no chance of winning a title.

  3. captainwisdom8888 - Dec 20, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    The Parker vs Wiggins discussion will be going on for quite some time leading up to the draft, and beyond. While I don’t think there’s a wrong choice between either of these kids as the #1 selection, I think I would prefer Parker to build a team around. Wiggins has the athleticism advantage, though Parker is no slouch either, but I just feel like when the game is on the line and your team needs a big-time bucket in the clutch…Jabari is the guy. The Melo comparison isn’t unwarranted, but I see more Joe Johnson in his game, and Joe knows a thing or 2 about taking and making big shots when his team needs it most.

    *I feel bad for a kid like Aaron Gordon(not too bad) who would have likely gone #1 overall in any of the last few drafts, but this year he just happens to be amongst a whole slew of future NBA superstars.

    • tcclark - Dec 20, 2013 at 8:04 PM

      I think Parker is more NBA ready and that’s why he’s looking better than Wiggins right now. Howver, because of his athleticism advantage, Wiggins’ ceiling is a lot higher than Parkers’. I think Parker has a little room to grow, but I think he’s pretty polished as is. Wiggins is no slouch at the moment and he still needs to gain strength and work on his game some more.

      The biggest thing that I love about Wiggins though is his attitude. Off the court he is modest and seems to be a hard working individual, but once gametime begins he turns a switch and becomes an animal. In that way he’s a lot like Paul George. I like a guy with a high ceiling and the attitude to work on it.

      This is nothing against Parker. I think he could be very close to the player Melo is. I just see so much in what Andrew Wiggins could be. Parker is the safer pick, but Wiggins could be so much better

    • antistratfordian - Dec 22, 2013 at 4:03 AM

      but I just feel like when the game is on the line and your team needs a big-time bucket in the clutch…Jabari is the guy.

      That didn’t happen when they faced each other though. It was Wiggins’ athleticism that was making all the clutch plays.

      In the NBA I would wonder about Parker’s ability to get off the types of shots he wanted. Wiggins won’t have to worry about that as much – when you’re graced with that type of athletic ability you can generally get whatever you want.

  4. micknangold - Dec 20, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    OA HOF career wouldn’t be bad? Get outta town!

  5. 950003cups - Dec 21, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    What comparison? Did Jabari miss 15 shots, each with the game on the line?

    • nikedunks13 - Dec 21, 2013 at 4:10 AM

      Let me know when he wins a championship

  6. harshedmellow - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:07 AM

    Madness gonna be fun this year….

  7. sicko123 - Dec 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Confused? Is being compared to Melo suppose to be a Bad Thing, your talking about a legit Superstar in the NBA and one of the best Scorers currently in the NBA. Parker comparisons to Melo is a great comparison their GAMES are very Similar.

  8. nypostheadlines - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Oh heavens to betsy, why on earth would he want to be compared to a top 10 player in the league who finished 3rd in MVP voting last season?

  9. drago2012 - Dec 21, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    MY Bulls are off to a race for JP stakes. In few short weeks they have become one of the worst teams in the NBA. Bench Boozer and Deng and let the young guys develop before Rose comes back. Nikola Mirotic @ #4 and Jabari @#3 , Noah at center, Rose at #2 and Augustin @point. or maybe we can get that kid from Cleveland who wants out.

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