Fans of NCAA men's basketball need not wait to see two of the college game's hottest prospects face each other. As part of the ESPN College Hoops Tip-off Marathon, the Kansas Jayhawks and the Duke Blue Devils play each other at the United Center in Chicago.
Chicago holds particular meaning for the Blue Devils as their top recruit, forward Jabari Parker, was born and raised there. Parker, the second-ranked player in the class of 2013, is joined by a solid roster of holdovers and freshmen, including center Marshall Plumlee, point guards Quinn Cook and captain Tyler Thornton, and shooting guard Rasheed Sulaimon. He will try to fill in the gaps left by forwards Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee. However, Parker brings more to the table than the two departures combined. For one, he has a complete all-around game, combining inside scoring, outside shooting, interior defense and rebounding. He has been described as the best high school player since Greg Oden.
The Kansas Jayhawks might have something to say about Duke's #4 pre-season ranking. The #6 Jayhawks might have snagged the best player to ever come out of Canada since a certain Steve Nash arrived at Santa Clara, Andrew Wiggins. The small forward, named the nation's top high school player by SLAM Magazine, is considered the #1 prospect in the 2014 NBA Draft. Wiggins has also been described as a complete player, with both outside shooting and hops, and has been compared to a young LeBron James.
While it is still early in the 2013-14 season, the Duke-Kansas game is expected to be a preview of a possible NCAA Tournament match-up. They are likely to be assigned to different regions and it is possible that they will meet in either the Elite Eight or Final Four. Nevertheless, it will be a great opportunity to see where both Parker and Wiggins are at this point of their very young basketball careers.
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