Jabari Parker was visibly shaken, tearful and trying to look ahead to what his future might be without Duke basketball Friday in the locker room 20 minutes after the third-seeded Blue Devils lost to 14th-seeded Mercer in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
He said, in a word, his freshman season was an “incompletion.”
Parker said the 78-71 loss to Mercer would impact his decision to either remain in school for his sophomore season or enter the 2014 NBA Draft. Parker is widely considered a top three pick in the June draft.
Saddled with foul trouble, Parker was 4 of 14 from the field with 14 points in 28 minutes Friday. Duke attempted 37 3-pointers. Parker was 0 for 3.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski said Thursday that Parker was still developing but was soon to be a star in the NBA.
“Jabari’s going to be an outstanding pro,” Krzyzewski said Thursday, comparing Parker to Carmelo Anthony. “He’s in the process of development. To compare the two now, there is no comparison. But in three, four, five years, Jabari, I think, will be a franchise player. He’ll be a– he’ll be one of those guys that scores — he’ll be a 25-point-a-game scorer, I think, in the NBA. But he’s still developing. He’s a long way from that. A long way doesn’t mean many, many years. He’s just a long way in having the opportunity to experience the game at different levels so then you can adjust.
“Like he’s still experiencing this level, where there’s more contact, the way the game is officiated, the way defenses go at you. And he’ll have to do that when he goes to the pros and adjusts to playing with men. But the future is extremely bright for him.”
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