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Duke 89 BC 68

Jabari Parker was absolutely sensational.

 Duke Blue Devils forward Jabari Parker (1) reacts against the Boston College Eagles during the first half at Silvio O. Conte Forum.
Duke Blue Devils forward Jabari Parker (1) reacts against the Boston College Eagles during the first half at Silvio O. Conte Forum.
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Twenty nine points and 16 rebounds. That is, when you get down it, about a third of Duke's points (89) and nearly half of Duke's rebounds (37) that Jabari Parker provided Saturday evening.

You could say that, well it did come against Boston College, but that misses the point. Every year, Duke plays someone like Delaware State or Elon or Presbyterian. Every team from every power conference does it. How often do you see 29/16? Even against the weakest teams, even in 50 point blowouts?

Unless you're someone unusual like Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley or LeBron James, you just don't do that too often.

Physically, Parker is not in a class with those guys. Mentally, he's in a very elite group.

Look how he started the season, playing as a small forward, all over the court, launching threes and hitting tons.

As it turned out, that wasn't what his team needed. So, no doubt at the behest of the coaching staff, Parker transformed his game and became an inside presence. Thus you see a game like the one he had against Boston College.

It's somewhat reminiscent of Kyle Singler, who bulked up as a freshman to play inside because that's what his team needed, then by the time he was a senior, was essentially a third guard and thin as a rail. It was what his teams needed so he did it.

It's like the ultimate teammate.

In Parker's case, of course, with a thin "I could use" Amile Jefferson and an even thinner Rodney Hood in Duke's frontcourt, playing more inside is what his team needs from him. And he's obliged brilliantly. Take rebounding.

From the Notre Dame game to State, Parker had 4, 6, 7, 3, and 7.

Since then, he's had 15, 14, 11, 9, 8 and 16.

In short, his rebounding in the first set of games averaged out to 5.4; since then it's up to 12.1.

That's just an act of will, really. The numbers are impressive, but not nearly as impressive as the fact that he put them up while subordinating his game to the needs of his team. That's the real news.

It's also imposing in this game because BC tried everything: man to man, zone, and in the ultimate compliment, a box and one.

Nothing slowed him down much.

It was also nice to see Quinn Cook emerge from his mini slump, as Cook finished with 21 points on 7-10 shooting and 5-7 from long range.

Rasheed Sulaimon added 10, while Rodney Hood chipped in nine and Amile Jefferson eight.

Tyler Thornton, aka Tiny Thor, had six points and six assists, and his generous distribution was matched by Sulaimon's six.

This was a game which could have been a so-called trap game, but obviously it didn't turn out that way. BC kept up for a half, but Duke's superior size and talent, led by Parker, went on an 18-0 run in the second half.

To an extent, we feel bad for Boston College.

Our impression is that the guys on that team are good guys, and fairly talented. It's a shame that the season has turned out to be such a disaster.

We've also been impressed by Steve Donahue since he brought his Cornell team to Cameron. Duke could never quite escape that team.

Significant success at Cornell is ipso facto proof that you can coach. We wish this year had gone better for him than it has.

There have already been suggestions that he should be removed and replaced by alum Bruce Pearl, who while unquestionably entertaining and a good coach, unfortunately also has a knack for getting a program in trouble.

Back to Duke: since the loss at Clemson, Duke is averaging 81.25 ppg to opponents 64.25. That includes the loss to Syracuse and losing a big lead to Virginia late and winning by just four.

Even so, since Clemson, Duke's winning by an average of 17 ppg in conference. That's pretty darned good.

None of it means anything Wednesday when Duke makes the short trip over to Chapel Hill for an encounter with the improving Tar Heels.

Carolina struggled early but lately has been, uh, making the grade if you will.

The offense focuses around James Michael McAdoo and Marcus Paige, but given the nature of the rivalry, anyone could go off.