Duke basketball Player of the Week: Week 6

Every week throughout the basketball season, The Blue Zone will name the highest-performing Blue Devil the Duke basketball Player of the Week.

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Statline: Monday v. Gardner-Webb: 21 points, 7-of-12 from the field and six rebounds in 26 minutes.

Thursday v. UCLA: 23 points, 7-of-13 from the field, 10 rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes.

The good: Parker was back to his efficient self on the court this week. His play dipped a little bit before the Michigan game two weeks ago, but this week Parker was scoring at will from anywhere on the court. He went 5-for-10 from beyond the arc this week and was a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe. The five assists Thursday against UCLA showed Parker's ability to move the ball to his open teammates, which allowed Duke to build up a 17-point advantage over the Bruins.

The bad: There wasn't a lot of bad this week from Parker. The six rebounds against Gardner-Webb looks low, but he did that in just 26 minutes of action. The one thing that Parker hasn't mastered yet is his defense. All too often Parker leaves his feet on help defense, looking to come up with the block at all costs. That leaves him out of position to either defend his man or box out and grab the defensive rebound.

The bottom line: Parker is one of the best players in the nation—if not the best. He almost always looks in complete control on the floor on offense, able to hit from anywhere regardless of the presence of a defender. Rodney Hood and Quinn Cook have consistently been scoring threats for Duke, but they are just second options behind Parker. If the game is on the line, there's only one player Blue Devil fans want to see holding the ball, and that's Parker.

Honorable mention: Cook has been sensational lately, averaging 15 points over the two games this week and coming up with eight steals against UCLA. Duke's floor general has controlled the tempo of the game and has been the guy setting the tone for the Blue Devils. Amile Jefferson also provided a spark for Duke this week asserting himself on the boards with 17 rebounds in the two games. If he can become a reliable rebounder, he makes the Blue Devils that much better against any opponent.


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