It isn’t exactly breaking news to suggest that Duke freshman Jabari Parker is an excellent basketball player, but he reminded us of this fact again on Friday night. Parker (and Rodney Hood, who we will come back to) led the Blue Devils to a lopsided, 97-64 victory over Florida Atlantic, and he was generally spectacular in doing so.
The 6-foot-8, 235-pound freshman forward scored 21 points (on just 13 shots) and grabbed 10 rebounds in just 28 minutes of court time, and was (as usual) visually exceptional in doing so. His ability to score efficiently (7-13 FG, 4-6 from 3) is a skill that is highly valuable at the NBA level (his next stop after Duke), but more over, the consistently and seemingly effortless nature of that ability is stunning.
Parker wasn’t without help on Friday, however, as Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood nearly stole the show. Hood scored 28 points on just 11 field goal attempts (thanks to 12 of 13 from the free throw line), and he reminded the nation that it won’t need to be the one-man Jabari Parker variety hour in Durham this season.
Obviously, a win over Florida Atlantic is nothing to write home about for the Duke program, but the fact that Parker showed up for this game as if it was any other opponent is encouraging, and he’s going to be a special player wherever he lands.