Kentucky basketball’s freshmen four to bear load
BY SETH GRUEN Staff Reporter November 12, 2013 10:28PM
Updated: November 13, 2013 11:08PM
The concept of a one-and-done is easy enough to understand: A talented high school player uses a year of college basketball to showcase himself to NBA scouts.
But Duke freshman and former Simeon star Jabari Parker is of a different breed. Call him a ‘‘done and one’’ — a class that even excludes fellow freshman Andrew Wiggins of Kansas.
Wiggins, who squared off against Parker on Tuesday in the State Farm Champions Classic at the United Center, might have marginally more potential. But despite Duke losing 94-83 in what had been a close game throughout, it was Parker who showed he doesn’t need a year to polish his game. It’s already NBA-ready.
His time at Duke is merely a short sabbatical from real life and the NBA pressures that will come when his name is called during the NBA draft next June.
Parker, dealing with the raucous atmosphere of a bipartisan United Center crowd, was calm, scoring 19 points in a first half in which he proved he can play and guard every position on the floor.
He dazzled, too, taking a bad lob pass from Quinn Cook that reached the top of the backboard, catching it with his right hand and slamming it down.
That was for Parker’s hometown crowd, which got to cheer him for the last time. Barring a monumental collapse by the Bulls, he won’t be donning a Chicago uniform once he turns pro.
Parker fouled out with 1:02 left in the game, ending the Blue Devils’ chances of winning. He finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and two steals, by far the best player on the floor.
That will continue to be the case as he continues his college career, such as it is. He has all but officially entered the draft.