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Parker is a game-changer for Duke

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,College,Craig Stouffer

Duke may be No. 1 in the country but was at risk of losing that distinction in recruiting before the commitment of 6-foot-8 Simeon Career Academy small forward Jabari Parker. In the world of one-and-done, top-10 classes aren't enough to match the program's aspirations or stay with Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana and North Carolina.

Kyrie Irving's group in 2010, the year after Duke's last national championship, was ranked sixth by ESPN, and Austin Rivers' group was No.?2. But this year's class, led by Rasheed Sulaimon, didn't have great promise even if it is turning out to be a potentially great team. The prospects for next year felt similar until Thursday.

Parker is a game-changer whom Mike Krzyzewski swiped away from Tom Izzo and Michigan State, can build around to go deep into March and then gleam over at the NBA Draft in June -- as John Calipari has made a habit of doing lately. That honor goes hand-in-hand with getting to the Final Four.

- Craig Stouffer

cstouffer@washingtonexaminer.com

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