Jabari Parker Drops 30 on Carolina; Uncertain if He Will Enter NBA Draft | Zagsblog
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Monday / April 22.
  • Jabari Parker Drops 30 on Carolina; Uncertain if He Will Enter NBA Draft

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    Jabari ParkerIn what may have been his final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Jabari Parker put on quite a show.

    The 6-foot-8 freshman scored a season-high 30 points and added 11 rebounds in the fourth-ranked Blue Devils’ 93-81 win over No. 14 North Carolina on Saturday night.

    But don’t call him a freshman.

    “No more freshman,” he said, according to the AP. “I don’t like getting in that category anymore because my team needs me more than just an 18-year-old. They need somebody with experience through the whole game. … It’s time to grow up.”

    Parker is projected as a top-3 pick in the NBA Draft, but says he hasn’t decided yet if he will come out.

    “If I feel like there are things I could improve on or things I left, like during the season, then I will probably come back,” Parker said, according to the AP.

    “A deciding factor is where I’m going to grow the most, whether it’s in the NBA or even in college, the learning experiences that I need as far as [growing as] a basketball player.”

    One veteran NBA scout said he thinks Parker actually might come back.

    “I am buying it,” the scout said. “He may be the only one of the Top 3 that really considers coming back for his sophomore season.”

    But in January, one NBA executive said it was absurd to think that Parker wouldn’t come out.

    “Please,” the exec said. “He’s going top 3 and he’s coming out. Anything to the contrary is the ramblings of someone who couldn’t fit his column inches.”

    Parker’s comments echo those his father, former NBA player Sonny Parker, told SNY.tv in January, when it was reported that Parker might stay at Duke for his sophomore season.

    “Only one person knows if he’s staying or not staying and that’s him,” Sonny said then. “He will talk about it after the season. He’s gotta enjoy college right now. Anybody else is projecting and saying he’s coming out, me and my wife and my son we haven’t talked to him about it.”

    If Parker opts to stay on campus, he would get to play with the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation that includes fellow Chicagoan, big man Jahlil Okafor, point guard Tyus Jones, shooting guard Grayson Allen and wing Justise Winslow. Duke is also still involved for uncommitted Texas big man Myles Turner, who visits this weekend.

    Duke will also return Rasheed Sulaimon, Quinn Cook, Marshall Plumlee and possibly Rodney Hood if he doesn’t enter the Draft.

    Talk about loaded.

    Jabari previously told SNY.tv he could envision playing with Okafor.

    “Oh, it would be great,” Parker said. “I would just work off him. A lot of attention would come up towards him and a lot of attention will come towards me, so we can work hand-in-hand with each other depending on where we are on different spots on the floor.”

    A Wooden Aware finalist, Parker is averaging 18.8 points and 9.0 rebounds for Duke (23-7, 12-5 ACC) and has been their most consistent player.

    “He really has no holes in his game,”North Carolina coach Roy Williams said according to the AP. Williams joked that the best way to defend him was to “hope he sprains his ankle going up the steps.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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