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Jabari Parker may feel “incomplete” after loss but don’t expect him to stay at Duke. Or fall in draft.

Mar 21, 2014, 5:59 PM EST

NCAA Mercer Duke Basketball AP

This happens every year. A player everyone expects to bolt for the NBA has a bad NCAA Tournament get, his team gets upset much earlier than expected, and because he’s a competitor he’s frustrated. So when a reporter asks him minutes after the game if he is going pro he says something that gives the hometown fans hope.

Then a few weeks later, no matter what was said before, he looks at the millions of dollars on the table and reaching his NBA dream, and he goes pro.

This year, meet Jabari Parker of Duke.

Wait a few weeks. Wait for his emotions to calm down. He will forever feel bad about how his college career ended but make no mistake — this will be the end. He will go pro.

And his rough performance is not going to drop him down draft boards.

Much of America discovered Friday what NBA scouts already knew — Parker is a defensive liability right now. Ed Isaacson of NBADraftBlog.com wrote about it at PBT Friday morning, before Duke took the court. Yes, Mike Krzyzewski benched him for his defense and scouts ripped him for his effort on that end Friday, but this is not new information.

It does not change the fact he already has a game that can score a variety of ways at the NBA level — in the post, from three, in transition, off the bounce, catch-and-shoot — and NBA teams believe they can mold his defense. They think they can mold it more quickly and efficiently than another year in college would.

So he will come out, as will Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid and Julius Randall and a host of others.

No matter what they say in the minutes after a loss.

  1. legend30 - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    He plays NO DEFENSE! Wiggins > Parker

  2. shuttaman1990 - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    He may very well end up as a Laker.
    As for Coach K, he will become the next headcoach of the Lakers.
    Say Goodbye to Coach K NCAA.
    Lakers all day.

    • asimonetti88 - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:18 PM

      I was disappointed when Coach K decided to stay at Duke over joining the Lakers in 2004. If he was ever going to make the jump, he would have made it then. At this point he has nothing to gain from leaving Duke to go anywhere, even to the Lakers and/or the NBA. His legacy is cemented, he’s one of the greatest coaches of all time along with Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, Bob Knight, Pat Riley and John Wooden. This is a guy who has 2 gold medals, 4 or 5 national championships and close to 1000 wins. He is going to coach at Duke until he retires or passes. I respect this guy as much as I respect Philly J and would be beyond myself if he came to coach the Lakers, but it will never happen.

      • shuttaman1990 - Mar 21, 2014 at 8:07 PM

        His legacy needs a NBA championship. With the Lakers he can get one.
        Lakers all day.

      • mackcarrington - Mar 21, 2014 at 8:12 PM

        As you correctly point out “his legacy is cemented”. The following logic thereby should be “he has nothing to lose”,
        by going to the NBA. And with his National Championships, gold medals, etc., the only challenge would be at the next level.

      • asimonetti88 - Mar 22, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        What does he have to gain by going to the NBA? If he wins a championship, what does that prove? That he’s a great coach? One of the best of all time? That’s already been widely established. And what if he goes to the NBA and has a Calipari experience? He has nothing to gain, everything to lose as far as his legacy goes if he leaves Duke.

        Have you ever heard someone say, oh yeah Coach K is a great coach but he never coached at the NBA level? That’s what I thought.

  3. shadowgamesshades - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    Parker is the next Melo. All scoring and no defense.

    • paleihe - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:34 PM

      Most players would love to have a career like Melo.

  4. balfe13 - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    Stop with the Carmelo comparisons, especially in the context of the NCAA tournament. Carmelo single-handedly led his team to a championship. Parker contributed to his team losing in the first round. Stop it.

    • fanofthegame79 - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:25 PM

      Very true.

    • censormynameandmycomments - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:17 PM

      The Melo comparison was never the best anyway. He’s always struck me as an almost perfect clone of Paul Pierce.

    • asimonetti88 - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:19 PM

      Even with just one year, Melo has to be one of the best college players of all time. Obviously he didn’t have one of the best careers having only stayed one year, but he was a great college player.

    • nflcrimerankingscom - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:22 PM

      “Single-handedly” ???

      Gerry McNamara disagrees.

      • phillyrox - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:00 PM

        He’s the only one.

      • genericcommenter - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:25 PM

        Hakim Warrick also had a very productive season, tournament, and sealed the win the block.

  5. Professor Fate - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:52 PM

    “NBA teams believe they can mold his defense.” Now that he’s done his required year in college, without noticeably improving his defense, the league has decided it can fix it? If a legendary coach at a basketball mill can’t get a guy to defend, what the heck makes the NBA think it can do the job?

    Wouldn’t it serve a player better to go straight to the D-League than to have wasted a year in college with no intention of getting a degree? I guess I just don’t understand the age-restriction of the NBA. Is the intent to protect owners from paying teenagers a boat-load of money based on high school play? Doesn’t seem to be working, at least with the one-and-done crowd.

    • therealhtj - Mar 21, 2014 at 9:06 PM

      Big time colleges pay better than the D League.

      • adamsjohn714 - Mar 22, 2014 at 4:23 AM

        How exactly?

    • casualcommenter - Mar 21, 2014 at 9:14 PM

      Yeah, he spent ONE WHOLE YEAR in college, so he’s obviously a finished product and can’t be expected to improve any more.

      I mean, it was ONE WHOLE YEAR. If he’s not an All-Defensive First Team player already, teams might as well give up now, since he’s never going to get any better on defense.

      He just turned 19 years old last week. There’s no way he can hope to improve over the next decade or so, because all NBA players hit their peak on both ends of the floor by age 20.

    • adamsjohn714 - Mar 22, 2014 at 4:22 AM

      The answer to the questions in the 2nd paragraph is YES.

  6. slaugin - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    The one and dones ruined College basketball for me. I used to get behind a “team ” and able to root for a core of players over 3-4 years. Now it’s a new group every year and all the good players don’t give a crap about team building

    • casualcommenter - Mar 21, 2014 at 9:21 PM

      On the other hand, overall fan interest in college basketball is at an all time high.

      That roster turnover you hate also makes every year’s tournament much harder to predict because you don’t have times like Louisville or Duke becoming 3-4 year dynasties any more. Their best players bail after a year or two, so every year new programs have a shot at contending.

      That unpredictability has driven fan interest since you quite literally don’t know what to expect each year any more.

  7. andreboy1 - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    Parker has the body type where he might be too thick once he becomes a man to dominate in the NBA

    He’s already an average athelete and it’s going to get worse once he fills out even more

    Wiggins has the elite athleticism to maybe be a dominant player at the next level

  8. uscoach - Mar 22, 2014 at 1:03 AM

    …the block, which came after the missed free throw from Warrick that would have sealed it. Great sequence highlighting Warrick’s heart.

  9. rrhoe - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Parker and Wiggins didn’t really show me anything to justify all the hype to be honest,but Cleanthony Early on the other hand put on a show. Inside,outside,above the rim,step back jumpers,he got game.

  10. stash918 - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    I guess nobody remembers Harrison Barnes, who stayed another year at UNC in exactly these same circumstances and was still a lottery pick.

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