Across the country almost all Duke Basketball fans are anxiously holding their breath as their All-American forward Jabari Parker decides whether or not to return to Duke for his sophomore season. The fact that Parker has waited so long to make this decision has given many Blue Devil fans, myself included, the belief that he truly is serious about considering returning to Durham. Hopefully this belief does not turn into false hope if and when Parker does what is expected to do and turns pro.
To answer the question that I proposed in the title of this article, the answer is scary good. Sports Illustrated recently released their very early preseason rankings in this week’s issue and even assuming that Parker does indeed decided to go pro they still had the Blue Devils listed as the top team in the nation.
The reason that there are is already such high hopes for the 2014-2015 Duke Blue Devils is that they are returning a bunch of solid veteran players such as guards Rasheed Suliamon and Quinn Cook. In addition to Cook and Suliamon’s return, the Blue Devils are also bringing in the best high school center in the country, Jahlil Okafor, and the best high school point guard in the country, Tyus Jones.
Making the rather bold and risky assumption that Parker decides to return for a second season at Duke the Blue Devils projected starting lineup will probably be Tyus Jones at the point, Suliamon as the shooting guard, Parker as the small forward, Junior Amile Jefferson as the power forward and Okafor as the center. That right there ladies and gentleman is the recipe for one scary offensive unit. Duke will also have the capability to play small ball when necessary and play three guards at once in Jones, Suliamon, and Cook all at the same time with Parker and Okafor manning the post.
The bottom line is that if Parker decides to return this team will be very difficult to beat. However, like I already mentioned the fate of next year’s team does not rest solely on the shoulders of Jabari Parker. It is kind of being forgotten that redshirt sophomore Rodney Hood is also deciding whether or not to declare for this year’s NBA draft.
If by some miracle both Hood and Parker decide to return for one more season I will literally jump with joy because only the sky will be the limit for a team with that much talent lead by the greatest coach of all time in Mike Krzyzewski. If only one of them decides to come back I will still be ecstatic because they are both great players and Duke would be very lucky to have them. And finally if neither of them decides to come back I will not be too disappointed because the program is still in great hands thanks to the recruiting genius of coach K.