Duke freshman forward Jabari Parker was honored with the Wayman Tisdale Award as college basketball’s top freshman on Monday, but the 6-foot-8 forward will also decide on his future this week, according to a report from the AP.
Parker — in Oklahoma City to accept the Tisdale Award — told the AP on Mondaythat he’ll meet with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski on Tuesday when he returns to Durham and the two will discuss the All-American’s future.
After the discussion, Parker will make a decision on Wednesday whether to enter the 2014 NBA Draft or return for his sophomore season at Duke. Parker will look for the place “where he can grow the most,” according to the AP story.
“I don’t know where that is right now,” Parker said on Monday. “I’ll talk to coach about it and lay out my options, but I’m just really glad I get the best of both worlds.”
The forward led Duke in scoring and rebounding during the 2013-14 season as Parker averaged 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 47 percent from the field and 35 percent from the three-point line.
Although Parker is considered a likely top-three pick by many NBA Draft experts, the freshman has an interesting decision for next season with Duke bringing in four more McDonald’s All-Americans for the 2014-15 season, including one of the nation’s top point guards in Tyus Jones and Rivals.com’s No. 1 player overall in center and fellow Chicago native Jahlil Okafor.
While Parker will make his NBA Draft decision on Wednesday, there is no scheduled announcement to make that knowledge public at this time.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.