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Mike Krzyzewski talks Rodney Hood, Jabari Parker and more on the 2013-14 Duke team

DURHAM—This has all the makings of a special year for Duke.

“We have a chance to be good, real good,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski said before the start of the first official practice. “If for some reason we’re not, we’ll have to figure out why we’re not.”

There are no obvious flaws or shortcomings for the 2013-14 Blue Devils, which will be the most athletic Duke team since the 1999 and 2001 counterparts. And Krzyzewski isn’t wasting any time getting down to business, publicly appointing freshman Jabari Parker and sophomore Rodney Hood as the centerpieces the rest of the team will blend around.

Mark Gottfried on Duke: "I can’t imagine anybody else being picked No. 1 in the country"

N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried is getting on the record early with his prediction of Duke dominance. Credit: ETHAN HYMAN

RALEIGH--At his annual summer press conference, Mark Gottfried was asked to pick a favorite to win the ACC. It didn't take him long to answer.

If I was to handicap the league right now--now it is July, so we’re a long ways away from the games--...here’s the thing, Duke, they potentially have the second and third picks in next year’s draft in their two wing players with Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker,” Gottfried said, after being reminded Andrew Wiggins was the likely No. 1 pick. “But those two players are that good.

“That doesn’t include the other veteran players they have coming back in (Rasheed) Sulaimon and all the rest of the guys. I can’t imagine anybody else being picked No. 1 in the country than Duke.”

1372804147 Mark Gottfried on Duke: "I can’t imagine anybody else being picked No. 1 in the country" The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Summer Hoops Preview '14: Vintage Duke the team to beat

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski (34th season, 884-238 at Duke; 957-297 overall)

2012-13 record: 30-6 (14-4 ACC, second)

Postseason: NCAA tournament, 3-1 (beat Albany, Creighton, Michigan State; lost to Louisville)

Projected starting lineup: G Quinn Cook, G Rasheed Sulaimon, F Jabari Parker, F Rodney Hood, F Amile Jefferson

Plus

• Remember when Duke lost to Lehigh in the NCAA tournament in 2012 and Lehigh, from the Patriot League, had arguably a more athletic lineup than Duke, an ACC program with its choice of McDonald's All-Americans?

Summer Hoops Preview '14: History points to Duke in new ACC

Summer Hoops Preview '14
Today: The Picks; Duke, UNC, N.C. State
Monday: Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Boston College, Florida State
Tuesday: Clemson, Maryland, Miami, Pittsburgh
Wednesday: Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech

If Duke's history is the precedent, the rest of the newly expanded ACC is in trouble.

The Blue Devils have a chance to be historically good in 2013-14. Mike Krzyzewski has taken Duke to the NCAA tournament 29 times in his 33 seasons. He has lost in the round of eight only twice: last season to Louisville (the eventual champion) and in 1998 to Kentucky (the eventual champion).

Jabari Parker officially signs with Duke

Jabari Parker, seen here in December, has sent his letter of intent to Duke. Credit: CHARLES REX ARBOGAST/AP

It's official: Jabari Parker is coming to Duke.

Parker, the No. 2 overall prospect in the class of 2013, committed to the Blue Devils on December 20th during a special ESPNU broadcast of his decision. But he couldn't sign until the spring, and he signed his binding letter of intent Wednesday at Chicago high school, Simeon Career Academy.

DeCock: Like Irving, Parker the missing piece in title puzzle

The recruitment of Kyrie Irving passed without excessive fanfare, obscured by the hype and hoopla surrounding Harrison Barnes and his choice between Duke and North Carolina. Then Duke won the national title in 2010, and Irving walked in the door the next fall as the point guard that veteran, experienced team needed to contend for another title.

That isn’t how it worked out, thanks to Irving’s toe injury. With Jabari Parker, Duke gets another chance at a similar arrangement: He’s the final piece in a national-title puzzle, an instant injection of raw, unbridled talent into a veteran team that already knows how to win.

Top recruit Jabari Parker chooses Duke

Jabari Parker is coming to Duke.

The No. 2 recruit of the class of 2013 ended months of speculation when he announced he will sign the Blue Devils Thursday afternoon. Parker made his decision live from his Chicago high school, Simeon Career Academy, on ESPNU.

“In the fall of 2013, I will be attending...” Parker said, as he attempted to pull a T-shirt out of a black bag, “I will be attending Duke University.”

Parker cited Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski as the reason for his decision.

“He has played a key role in my development throughout high school, just telling me basic things and what I need to do,” Parker said. “I just felt comfortable.”

The Jabari Parker watch

Jabari Parker, the No. 2 recruit in the country, is close to making a college choice. Credit: AP

If you missed it, prized basketball recruit Jabari Parker announced Wednesday that he will make his college choice Dec. 20. The recruiting analysts feel like it will come down to Duke or Michigan State. You can check out the full story here.

The one large advantage Michigan State has over Duke is that it’s much closer to Parker’s Chicago home. As a general rule of thumb, the longer it takes a player to make a decision, the greater the chance he stays close to home, but that’s certainly not foolproof logic. Mike Krzyzewski has done well recruiting in Chicago, drawing players like Jon Scheyer, Corey Maggette, Chris Collins and Sean Dockery. At this point, no one—not even Parker’s father—knows which way he is leaning.

Top recruit Jabari Parker doesn't plan to sign early

Jabari Parker is one of Duke's top targets. Credit: AP

The wait is on.

Per ESPN Chicago, Jabari Parker, considered the top 2013 basketball recruit, is not planning on committing during the early signing period. If Parker doesn't sign with a school during the Nov. 14-21 window, he will have to wait until at least April 17 to make any commitment official.

"I would like for him to commit and sign in one day," Parker's father Sonny Parker told ESPN Chicago. "He's doing this thing on his own, and I just have to support him. From what I'm hearing (from him), he's going to commit probably in December."

Duke makes Jabari Parker's final five

 

It's down to five for the nation's top basketball recruit.

According to ESPN Chicago, Jabari Parker, a 6-foot-8 small forward who is ranked No. 1 overall in the class of 2013, is still considering Duke, Michigan State, Florida, Stanford and BYU. North Carolina—along with hometown team DePaul, Kansas, Georgetown and Kentucky—was eliminated.

"He thought about it and looked at the programs. That's the five he had," Robert Smith, Parker's high school coach, told ESPN Chicago Friday. "It took him a long time to find. Everyone was really good, but he had to make a decision. He really respected everyone recruiting him and wanted to thank them for their time. He knew he couldn't make everyone happy."

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