All week long, we're taking an in-depth look at the 2013-14 season. On Wednesday, my colleague Myron Medcalf and I met at our proverbial Watercooler to discuss the incoming freshmen we're most looking forward to watching on something other than YouTube next fall:
Myron: A few years ago, I attended a Junior Olympic team tryout in Colorado Springs. I watched (Jabari) Parker for four or five days and couldn't believe how fluid and disciplined he was at that age. He's obviously evolved since that time. No player in this class has had a bigger target on their back. He has played in Chicago. Now, he's going to Duke. And the expectations for his first (and only) year on the collegiate scene are sky high.
I really believe he's equipped to meet them. Parker can create his shot. He's smart. He just gets buckets. And you know Coach K is going to mold him into a better defender.
You live in Chicago, man. Should I really be this excited about Parker?
Eamonn: Let me dive right in and answer your question: I think so.
Parker has lost a little bit of the luster he had as a sophomore and junior at Simeon for a couple of plain reasons: He suffered an injury that took him a little longer to recover from than he anticipated this past season. It also kept him from playing against Andrew Wiggins on the AAU circuit last summer, when Wiggins, who was still a class below Parker, basically shut the whole thing down. Wiggins later reclassified to the current class, rapidly took Parker's No. 1 spot in 2013, and everyone's attention span sort of shifted -- one "next" LeBron James rapidly replaced by another.
Don't get me wrong: Wiggins is that dude. But as we'll discuss, this class isn't really the kind where you should worry about the No. 1 or No. 2 player -- or where they're ranked and what that means for their future -- because by all accounts the class of 2013 includes a wide swath of NBA talents. Parker is obviously one of them.
Read our entire Watercooler here.