How will Duke look with Parker
Things are going pretty well right now in Durham, North Carolina at Duke University. Currently Mike Krzyzewski has the Blue Devils undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the country, and now they have a commitment from the nation's No. 2 senior, Jabari Parker. As if that wasn't enough, Duke also has three very talented wings coming in next year along with Parker. Transfer Rodney Hood from Mississippi State, five-star combo forward Semi Ojeleye and five-star shooting guard Matt Jones. Those three along with Parker give the Blue Devils a ton of fire power on the perimeter. Where things get impressive for Duke is when you consider that sophomore point guard Quinn Cook has taken a major step forward averaging 10.4 points and 6.3 assists per game with a 2.3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Also freshman shooting guard Rasheed Sulaimon has been very impressive averaging 12.7 points, shooting 37 percent from distance, and is clearly the best perimeter defender that the Blue Devils have. Now the question is how do you manage to fit all of those players on the court. Obviously that is a good problem to have if you are Coach K and his staff, and here is a look at what might happen. Since none of the players entering Duke would be classified as point guards, or are really capable of playing the position, Cook's minutes look safe and he will be backed up by Tyler Thornton. Thornton is a role player known for toughness and defense, so this rotation looks to be status quo. Where things get interesting is at the shooting guard, small forward, and power forward. Duke does lose current power forward Ryan Kelly so a lot of minutes will be available at that position. At least to start look for Parker and Hood to split the minutes at the small forward and power forward position. Hood averaged 4.8 rebounds per game as a freshman, so he is capable if asked upon to rebound, but likely he starts off at the three with Parker starting off some at the four, though they will both be on the perimeter and they are both interchangeable. Parker is simply a naturally bigger player who is more comfortable down low rebounding and defending when he is asked to do so. When Parker or Hood come out, Amile Jefferson and Semi Ojeleye will likely fight for those minutes. Jefferson could also see some time at the center, but his natural and best fit will be power forward. Ojeleye has played both spots during his high school career and has the aggressiveness and toughness to battle down low when needed. When either Ojelye or Jefferson comes in, look for Parker or Hood to clearly be on the wing. Also Alex Murphy will find himself in this mix, though his minutes have been limited during this, his redshirt freshman, season. At shooting guard it won't be easy. Not only is Sulaimon emerging as one of the best freshmen in college basketball, but Andre Dawkins should also return from his redshirt year, and Dawkins averaged 8.4 points per game as a junior during the 2011-12 season. Still Sulaimon will get the start, and then Jones, who is having a fantastic start to his senior year in high school could spell him because of his ability to knock down shoots and spread the floor on the offensive end. If there is one thing Hood and Parker aren't great at, it is three point shooter, so having a shooter like Jones could prove to be very important when Sulaimon needs a rest. The only hole on the Duke roster right now is at the center position. While the Blue Devils could go with Jefferson there, largely untested Marshall Plumlee and veteran reserve Josh Hairston seem most likely to fill the spot. If the Blue Devils can get any production in terms of rebounding and defense from the center spot their perimeter four spots will be as good, if not better than any in the country. No. 1 in the country right now, Duke has things looking up even higher for next year. Parker, once he gets back into shape, will be one of the best players in college basketball from day one, and Coach K has to be smiling about how the future is shaping up.