Jabari Parker first Duke freshman to earn consensus first-team all-America honors

lkeeley@newsobserver.comMarch 31, 2014 

When Jabari Parker arrived at Duke, he came with super-sized expectations.

“He’ll be great, he’ll be terrific,” Mike Krzyzewski said on September 27, before Duke’s first practice.

Over the next six months, Parker would develop into Duke’s best offensive weapon, leading the Blue Devils in points and rebounds. Monday, Parker managed another first to his brief Duke career: first Blue Devil freshman to earn consensus first-team all-America honors.

The Associated Press and the John R. Wooden award became the most recent two organizations to name Parker a first-team all-American. The freshman was joined by seniors Russ Smith of Louisville, Shabazz Napier of Connecticut, Sean Kilpatrick of Cincinnati and Doug McDermott of Creighton on the AP’s first team. McDermott was a unanimous selection, appearing on all 65 first-team ballots for 325 points. Parker received the second-most votes, appearing on 55 ballots for 303 points.

ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren of N.C. State was named to the second team, along with Nick Johnson of Arizona, Andrew Wiggins of Kansas, Nik Stasukas of Michigan and Melvin Ejim of Iowa State.

Parker is the 15th consensus first-team all-American under Mike Krzyzewski and first since Nolan Smith in 2011.

Parker, a Chicago native, averaged 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, all team-highs. He put up those numbers spending considerable time in the post, not on the wing, his natural position.

Parker’s best game in a Duke uniform came in the regular-season finale, when he scored a career-high 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 93-81 win vs. North Carolina. That capped a perfect 17-0 season inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.

While there hasn’t yet been an official announcement, Parker is expected to become the third one-and-done Duke player in the past four seasons, joining Kyrie Irving (1st overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft) and Austin Rivers (10th in 2012) as phenomenal freshman who made a quick stop in Durham on the way to the NBA. Parker is projected as a top-five pick.

“Jabari, he’s in a great position for his future, so that would be a big-time decision not to go,” Krzyzewski said last week. “If you’re a high lottery pick, you become an asset, a monetary asset for an organization.”

Keeley: 919-829-4556; Twitter: @laurakeeley

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