New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Before 45 NBA scouts and 15,410 in attendance for Duke’s game against UCLA at Madison Square Garden, Jabari Parker had yet another stellar performance that drew praise and a comparison to Knicks star Carmelo Anthony.
Jabari pumped in 23 points and grabbed 10 boards to lead Duke over UCLA and was 7-of-13 from the field, including a 4-for-8 performance from 3-point range. He also was 5-of-5 at the free throw line and had five assists while scoring at least 20 points for the ninth time in his 11 college games.
On his “off” nights, he had 19 against Arizona and 15 against Michigan.
He hit a big 3 and had an impressive dunk during Duke’s 16-4 run that broke open a tie game in the second half.
The 6-foot-8 Parker had been churning in such big nights regularly that it was deemed just an average performance from him.
“He’s gifted. He’s got a lot of smoothness to him. He can be a big guard or post you,” said first-year UCLA coach Steve Alford about the Chicago native. “You don’t see a lot who are this polished 10, 11 games into the year.”
“He’s a natural,” said Parker’s own coach at Duke, Mike Krzyzewski. “In different sports there are people who are naturals. Jabari is a natural. He can become even better. He embraces the moment.”
Rob Dauster of NBC’s CollegeBasketballTalk mentioned Anthony–a polished scorer with the ability to play the four, score inside, or stretch the floor out to the arc–when the topic of Parker came up.
Parker welcomed the comparison.
“Yeah, it’s a good comparison,” Parker said. “He mastered the fundamentals. He’s always good at his craft. He works on it and that’s a person I’ve been looking up to, so yeah, that’s good compliment.”
Alford also made the Anthony comparison without being prompted.
“I know we’re in New York City, but there’s a lot of Melo in him as far as guy that can stretch you to the 3-point line,” Alford said. “He can drive the basketball. He creates space off the dribble to get jump shots. He can take you to the post, so I just think he’s a very, very talented, gifted player. And you don’t see a lot who are this polished 10, 11 games into their freshman year.”
“I’m just going to do whatever it takes to win,” Parker said. “I don’t have to take 20 shots for us to win; I can as long as they’re good shots. I’m just learning to play the proper role right now.”
DraftExpress currently has Parker the No. 3 prospect in the upcoming draft.