It's worth taking a quick look at some video of Duke's incoming class: Jabari Parker, Semi Ojeleye and Matt Jones.
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Highlight videos aren't a very good way to judge much, because they tend to focus on trivial stuff, like dunks. Dunks are fun and all, but they just count two points and usually you expend more effort on that than it's worth.
The Parker videos focus on dunking, which is too bad, because the rest of his game is apparently sublime. He reminds us a bit, physically, anyway, of Chris Carrawell. Carrawell was never a smooth player; all he did was beat you. We remember his block on Tim Duncan as a freshman - talk about audacious.
We wish we could see more of his court sense in this, but everyone thinks highlights mean dunks. The dunks here are fun, but don't show you much. We'd love to see him lurking on defense, plotting an attack on the break, or defending someone aggressively.
Something like Richard saw in Vegas. From the mailbag!
"I saw Jabari Parker play on Feb. 2, 2013 here in Las Vegas against a local high school.Â He showed no signs of injury and had a fantastic game.Â He played most of the first half (about 12 minutes) but not much in the second half.Â He was 3-4 from 3 but was fouled on the one miss.Â He then swished three free throws.Â Swished every other free throw.Â Handles the ball like guard, shoots like a shooting guard, and plays inside too. Â Drove the lane from the three point line around players to a lay-up.Â He even dribbled between his legs.Â Â I couldnât believe what I was seeing."
The Ojeleye and Jones videos, by contrast, show two superb shooters, in particular Jones, and that Ojeleye is a superb athlete. He may not be in Maggette territory - Duke's gold standard for athleticism - but he's not that far away either.
Matt Jones is a brilliant shooter, but check this out above all: count how many times in this video his shots hit the rim. Mostly he's shooting from way deep, and mostly his shots just fall right over the rim. They're gorgeous and soft as a feather. Even JJ Redick would be impressed.