Coach K Believes Jabari Parker Established Himself, Would Have Been Rookie of the Year | Zagsblog
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Thursday / April 2.
  • Coach K Believes Jabari Parker Established Himself, Would Have Been Rookie of the Year

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    Jabari Parker InjuredBy JOSH NEWMAN

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.Jabari Parker is done for the season with a torn left ACL, but Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski has managed to find a silver lining.

    His rookie season may be done after just 25 games, but at least the former Blue Devils star made a name for himself over that short span.

    “The good thing for Jabari is, there’s been so many injuries with the rookies, but Jabari had 25 games or so where he established himself,” Krzyzewski said after the second-ranked Blue Devils defeated Connecticut, 66-56, at the IZOD Center. “In other words, no one wants that injury, but he has a reference point. His ownership, the league, his teammates, he knows he’s that good.”

    “It’s sad because he was on his way to being Rookie of the Year of the league and the Bucks are doing so well.”

    Parker was lost for the season on Monday when his left knee buckled after a drive to the basket, after which he collided with P.J. Tucker of the Phoenix Suns. The original diagnosis was a sprained ACL, but an MRI back in Milwaukee on Tuesday confirmed that the injury was worse. He will have surgery after it was revealed he suffered a complete tear.

    Parker’s injury is the latest long-term setback to a member of the highly-touted 2014 NBA Draft Class.

    Lakers forward and No. 7 pick Julius Randle is done for the season after suffering a broken leg in the first game of the season. Joel Embiid, the No. 3 pick out of Kansas, has yet to play this season with the Philadelphia 76ers because of a foot injury, while No. 4 pick Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic is out indefinitely after undergoing foot surgery.

    No. 11 pick Doug McDermott is expected to miss at least 4-6 weeks with the Chicago Bulls after undergoing arthroscopic right knee surgery Saturday.

    “That’s what we tried to enforce with Sonny and Lola (Parker),” Krzyzewski said. “He just needs to take his time. When he comes back, he already has a spot, they know how good he can be and he can come back from this injury well.”

    Through 25 games, Parker averaged 12.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 29.5 minutes as the Bucks got off to a surprising 13-12 start behind former Nets head coach Jason Kidd.

    With Parker out, the Rookie of the Year race now turns to Minnesota Timberwolves wing Andrew Wiggins, Sixers shooting guard K.J. McDaniels and Timberwolves point guard Zach LaVine.

    Follow Josh Newman on Twitter