OMG! JABARI PARKER!
At least, that is one of the main storylines heading into the contest between Duke and Davidson. The Blue Devils are the ACC favorite, and one of the more popular choices to win the national title. Davidson is replacing Jake Cohen (and several other major contributors) and looking to outplay the expectations and win the SoCon. Yes- despite what Scanning the SoCon says about Davidson being the favorite, the actual media and coaches picked Elon and picked Davidson to finish second. Davidson can go a long way to dispelling that prediction by beating Duke in Cameron Indoor. Duke can prove little nationally, but can establish that they are a national title contender by putting on a nice show against Davidson.
My favorite player all year last year on Davidson was Chris Czerapowicz (someone tell me if I spelled his name wrong- I just did that without looking it up, which I am pretty proud of). He is a very effective shooter, and a solid three point shooter.
I am most interested in seeing Brian Sullivan. Sullivan is a 5-11 point guard and a transfer from Miami, OH. The reviews so far have been rave. Everyone seems to think he will be one of the top point guards (if not THE top point guard) in the SoCon immediately. If that is true, then this team becomes even better. Sullivan is a lights out shooter and quick. He was All Freshman in the MAC as a freshman two years ago, before transferring and sitting out last year.
Jabari Parker made the cover of Sports Illustrated two years ago and was declared the best player since LeBron James. Of course, he was rated by many as the #3 recruit in the country coming out of high school, but this class was loaded. Parker is a 6-8 forward, and I can't wait to see him. It's possible he'll be matched up with Brooks quite a bit. If they are matched up, that will be a tremendous one on one match-up.
Don't worry college basketball fans. There is still a Plumlee at Duke. He is a redshirt sophomore and has not played much due to injury during his first two years. He is more than likely a bench player, but still- a Plumlee plays for Duke.
Rodney Hood is the transfer from Mississippi State. He is just a redshirt sophomore. He averaged nearly eleven poitns per game for the Bulldogs, and is expected to be one of the stars for this team. Last year, Coach K often called him the team's best player, but he was sitting out due to the transfer.
I'm not completely sold on Duke as a national title contender yet. But I'm not completely sold that Davidson is ready to walk into Cameron Indoor Stadium and come out with a win. While I think this team is the best in the SoCon, I don't think that they will be at their best in the opener, because of the new pieces. I think Davidson sticks around and stays in it, but Duke comes up with the win in the end. Duke 79, Davidson 67.