Parker's "monster" night has NBA teams drooling

Parker's "monster" night has NBA teams drooling
February 8, 2014, 9:45 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — For years, this has been the life of Jabari Parker.

He plays well and people watch in awe.

So for him, having scouts from just about every NBA team on Saturday night (22 was the count before tip-off) was just another day on the job.

And did he ever put in work as Duke pulled away in the second half for an 89-68 win over Boston College.

Parker led all players with 29 points and 16 rebounds - both career highs.

He made lay-ups; powerful dunks off ultra-quick drop-steps into the paint; he swatted shots.

Parker was anything and everything Duke needed on Saturday.

"Jabari was a monster today," said Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "With the amount of rebounds and points ... it could have been a 35, 36-point night."

Boston College head coach Steve Donahue had similar praise for the Blue Devils standout forward.

"He has an extra pop; a quickness you don't see in this league," Donahue said.

And it's that kind of ability that has NBA executives checking out as often as they can the freshman phenom who is projected to be among the top three players selected in June's NBA draft.

You can include Boston among the teams that are not just intrigued by his scoring prowess, but may be in position to draft the 6-foot-8 star if he does as expected and enter the NBA draft this year.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, was among a large contingent of Celtics front-office officials in attendance at the game that wouldn't mind having an opportunity to bring Parker's talents to the TD Garden which is just 6.7 miles away from the Conte Forum.

And while the Celtics (18-33) are riding a three-game winning streak right now, it would come as a surprise to no one if they hit another rough patch between now and the end of the season and found themselves back in the Parker sweepstakes.

As much as the Celtics and most teams are enticed by his talent, his maturity both on and off the court is also attractive.

"Very high character player," one scout told CSNNE.com. "You worry about some of the one-and-done kids being mature enough to handle the NBA lifestyle. It's a concern with all of them, but less of a concern with Jabari."

But as well as he has played this season, there's still levels of maturation he can still meet.

And on Saturday, Parker passed yet another milestone in the eyes of his Krzyzewski.

"He played more like a veteran in that he was playing so hard and usually we have to sub him because he gets tired," Krzyzewski said. "This is really the first game where I've seen him where he's playing so well he played through tired. It's something that a really good player has to learn to do, to keep performing when you're tired and he did."