Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins and Duke’s Jabari Parker certainly didn’t disappoint during their highly anticipated duel at the State Farm Championship Classic on Tuesday night.
Arguably the two most sought-after prospects entering the 2014 NBA Draft played in front of 22,711 fans in attendance at the United Center in Chicago, in what turned out to be a thriller of game, and for many, the realisation that these guys are the real deal.
Wiggins and the Jayhawks ultimately came out on top in a 94-83 win over Duke, but the battle for the No. 1 position atop the NBA-prospect pyramid makes for a more intriguing story for many basketball fans around the globe.
“The hype, it was big. I just tried to block it out,” Wiggins said in an interview with ESPN. “The names on jerseys don’t say Parker and Wiggins; it says Kansas and Duke. At the end of the day, it’s not one player that’s going to win, it’s one team.”
Wiggins finished the night with 22 points on 9-15 shooting — 16 of which came in the second half — and grabbed eight boards in just 25 minutes of action.
Check out Andrew Wiggins’ full highlights below:
Parker dropped 27 points on 9-18 shooting and recorded nine rebounds in 33 minutes.
Check out Jabari Parker’s full highlights below:
Wiggins is the more athletic of the two, and by many, is thought to have a higher ceiling than any other player since LeBron James. Though, there are fears his underdeveloped 200 pound frame at 6-8 will see him struggle against other pros at the Forward spot during his rookie year. Jabari, who weighs in at 235 pounds and also stands at 6-8, looks much more physically able to compete with the NBA’s much bigger players as soon as he enters the league — a huge plus for many NBA scouts.
It has almost become widely accepted that Andrew Wiggins is the sure-fire No. 1 pick — and the second back-to-back Canadian No. 1 pick — for this Summer’s draft. However, if Jabari Parker continues this level of play throughout the season, I think it’s fair to say that most NBA scouts will be reconsidering their options.
Let’s just hope the basketball Gods didn’t decide that this was this pair’s last classic duel for a while.