We hadn't really thought to compare Jabari Parker to Grant Hill, at least partly because we don't have enough information to make the comparison, but it's an intriguing idea. Certainly both are highly versatile players.
If Parker can get anywhere near Grant's level (when healthy), he's going to be superb.
We're really looking forward to seeing how Duke will use him.
For that matter, we're really looking forward to seeing the way Duke plays.
There's been a lot of focus on replacing Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly and Seth Curry, but that's never been the way Duke does things. It's not about replacing players, it's about assuming responsibilities.
Actually, we've always measured Duke teams by a simple standard: if no one is talking about the players who left the year before, it's a good year. And as great as all three were for Duke and at Duke, by January, you won't hear their names a whole lot.
What Duke has now is something Duke has not had for several years: a versatile, quick athletic team with interchangeable parts. With Parker, Rasheed Sulaimon, Quinn Cook, Rodney Hood and Amile Jefferson, Duke has a lineup where everyone is fast and almost everyone can take a turn at at least three positions.
On defense, they'll be able to dictate the pace instead of playing more of a halfcourt game.
We're assuming those five are the likely starters, but Tyler Thornton, Josh Hairston and Andre Dawkins have all started and have considerable experience, and Alex Murphy has shown considerable ability in limited minutes. Marshall Plumlee was limited last year by his foot injury; we expect him to show considerable improvement.
Toss in 6-6 Semi Ojeleye, who comes to Durham with apparent physical and emotional maturity and 6-4 three point specialist, and Duke is a load.
They can switch over with Plumlee, move Jefferson to one forward spot, move Hood or Parker to the backcourt with Cook and be ready to roll.
Or they can put Cook and Thornton in the backcourt, put Sulaimon on a wing, and add someone else - Hood, Parker or Murphy - and Jefferson and really get after smaller teams.
Or they could go with Cook, Sulaimon, Dawkins, Parker and Hood and rain three pointers.
There are endless possibilities and a lot of potential roles. The key though, no matter how you look at it, is the immense versatility of this group and the intense internal competition which will push greatness forward.
In short, it's going to be a whole lot of fun.