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College Basketball: Meet The Duke Blue Devils’ Three Incoming Freshmen

At any pay per head service, you know that Duke basketball commands a lot of attention as a focal point of betting activity. You want to be able to find out more information about Duke’s incoming freshman class, so here’s a primer:

Paul Biancardi of ESPN provided this overview in an article published on June 11:

“The jewel of Duke’s 2013 class, which features three ESPN 100 recruits, is small forward Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall player in the nation. He brings a complete package to the program, with the versatility to play and defend either forward position, a strong history of winning with four state titles, and the skills to shoot, pass, score off the bounce and handle the ball when needed. ESPN 100 shooting guard Matt Jones possesses a quick trigger and the range and accuracy to back it up, and he is improving at shooting off the bounce from midrange. Finally, ESPN 100 small forward Semi Ojeleye has a strong frame with good skills. With time and space, he can knock it down from behind the arc, but where he really shines is on the glass as a terrific rebounder for his size. All three players bring intangibles, a high basketball IQ, and the ability to defend their position and switch to others when needed. These are three dangerous weapons for the Blue Devils. Coach Mike Krzyzewski lost three stars in Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly, but the good news for Duke is he has plenty of gifted talent coming to Durham, N.C., next season.”

Within this recruiting class, the biggest story – and the most visible personality – is Parker. A ferocious competition emerged in the chase to snag Parker. An article by Sports Illustrated on the day of Parker’s decision – December 20, 2012 – laid out the background:

“Michigan State, Florida, Stanford and Brigham Young also made his top five and caps from each school lined a table next to the podium. But he (Parker) said it really came down to three schools, with the Gators and Spartans right there with the Blue Devils. In the end, he chose to play for Krzyzewski for at least a year before making what many believe will ultimately be a jump to the NBA.”

The fact that Parker is a Mormon – a faith passed on to him by his mother – gave Brigham Young fans the hope that Parker would choose BYU. Given that the BYU program witnessed the brilliance of Jimmer Fredette a few years ago and reached the Sweet 16 because of “The Jimmer’s” quality, there was a feeling of excitement in the state of Utah. BYU had never made the Final Four, but with Parker, a run to the big show was very possible. Parker, though, didn’t put BYU on his short list. Michigan State, due to the extent that coach Tom Izzo courted Parker, was in the hunt until the very end, but the young man chose Duke, lured by the reality that Coach K is the best in all of college basketball. He’ll form the core of Duke’s incoming freshman class.


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