Jabari Parker backs down Andrew Harrison during the Jordan Brand Classic (Photo via Jordan Brand)
One of the most interesting storylines out of this year's Jordan Brand Classic concerned future Duke Blue Devil (and #2 ranked prospect) Jabari Parker. Parker hinted that he might stay in school for more than one year, bucking the alarming trend of basketball players going to college for just one season before jetting to the NBA.
"I think in college they give you a chance to really mature, form yourself and build relationships. I think that's what a team is all about, and when you build relationships, it shows on the court and that brings out success. I love the whole attitude of staying in college to take advantage of a free education," Parker said. "I just felt like Kentucky wasn't a fit for me. The whole attitude and approach of the one-and-dones, that's good for them, that's their decision. But I think [Duke] Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] is a guru of basketball. I want to learn from one of the best."
On the other side of the issue is Andrew Harrison, one of the vaunted Harrison twins, who were the first to commit to Kentucky this spring. He was straightforward about why he was going to a team (and playing for a coach) that has become a "one and done" factory. He said, "Most coaches try to tell you that, 'Oh we love you,' and stuff. How do you love me? You wouldn't be sitting in my living room if I couldn't play basketball, so don't sit here and say it's any other way. That's why I like Coach [Calipari], because he told me that he could make me better. He didn't promise me anything. All the other coaches just kiss your butt."
There is a stark difference in demeanor between Parker and Harrison. Parker is reserved, soft spoken and thoughtful. He sounded almost resentful about what the "one and done" phenomenon has done to college basketball. Harrison spoke his mind and was a bit more brash in doing so, saying that on paper, this Kentucky recruiting class could be the best ever. It will be interesting to see if Parker does stay at Duke for more than one season. For now, we can't wait for that first Kentucky-Duke matchup next season, whenever that may be.
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