Duke fans would love to see freshman phenom Jabari Parker return for a sophomore season and form an amazing duo with top recruit Jahlil Okafor in 2014-15, but the chances of that happening are slim.
Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski joined the Dan Patrick Show on Friday to talk about Parker’s future, and he doesn’t expect to see the 18-year-old forward in a Duke jersey next year despite his love for the school.
“He’s really a Duke kid. He’s a great student, amazing family, high moral fiber. He’s the real deal in every aspect. He’ll be associated with Duke and our program forever, kind of like Kyrie [Irving] is,” Coach K said.
“I would think he would go [to the NBA], but he’s the type of kid [who loves college], he just loves college, but I think he has a chance to end up being the No. 1 pick or at least in the top three, so that’s pretty difficult to give up.”
Krzyzewski also said there was a “minimal” chance that Parker would come back to Duke next season, adding “we’re prepared for him to leave after one year.”
Parker is ranked in the top three, and even in No. 1 in some cases, among 2014 NBA mock drafts from leading experts. If he leaves Duke after this season, the Chicago native will face a lot of competition to be the top pick as part of a stellar freshman class that includes Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins and Kentucky’s Julius Randle, but Parker is the most complete player in the nation with his superb offensive game and polished defensive skills.
Parker leads Duke with 22.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.