Unless you have been completely deprived of all social media and sports news, you have already heard that Jabari Parker, the number two rated player from the class of 2013, committed to Duke yesterday. Including Austin Rivers and Kyrie Irving, Parker is the most hyped prospect that Coach K has landed in recent memory. Not only is he immensely skilled but, he also has great character and will fit the Duke program perfectly.
So, what made this highly ranked prospect out of Chicago, Illinois choose Duke over Michigan State, Florida, Stanford, and BYU? In an interview with ESPN, Parker stated, “What brought me to the decision is, of course, the history. Duke was always going to be a team in the tournament. You can’t go wrong at the program and, most importantly, the long-term investment. I feel if I go there, I can get a good degree.” In other words, academic and program prestige were two important factors that made Duke appealing to him and his family.
On top of this, Parker felt that distance was not too big of an issue and Durham was not too far away from home. Furthermore, Duke’s recent success and number one ranking had to help. Parker stated that he wanted to go somewhere that would allow him to compete for a national championship and with the addition of Parker and Rodney Hood’s eligibility, Duke should be in contention for the preseason number one ranking.
During his press conference, Jabari Parker also hinted at possibly staying at Duke for more than one year. Like I stated before, Parker is very interested in attaining a degree; almost to the point where the NBA is a back up plan. With that being said, I still foresee him leaving for the draft after one year. However, if anyone can convince him to stay more than one year it is Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Regardless of whether Parker decides to stay one year or four, this is a huge commitment for Duke. They will be instant title contenders for next year and may even give the Blue Devils momentum in recruiting for the class of 2014. Could this set the table for a Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor commitment? We will have to see.