Two of the most hyped and talented freshman in the loaded 2014 class made their college basketball debuts on Friday night, and neither disappointed.
But it was all a precursor to Tuesday's matchup, when Duke and Kansas meet at the United Center in Chicago for Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins to square off.
Already compared to LeBron James and Michael Jordan, Wiggins filled the box score with 16 points, two threes, and three steals, leading the Jayhawks to an 80-63 victory over Louisiana Monroe.
Parker was equally impressive, knocking down all three of his attempts from beyond the arc for 22 points, and added six rebounds, two assists, and a block as the Blue Devils blew past Davidson 111-77.
Perhaps a sign of things to come, both 6-foot-8 freshmen scored the first buckets for their respective games, and had the green light to shoot from coaches Bill Self and Mike Krzyzewski.
Parker and Wiggins also displayed the polish and poise of players well beyond their years. Wiggins flashed his patented spin move and finished the play with a floater for the Jayhawks first points. Later, he dished to the open man for a three-pointer, spotted up for his own jumper, and drove to the basket for a finger roll.
Parker, already considered a Chicago high school legend, showed the range on his jump shot from all over the court, along with a smooth turnaround from the paint. Parker later rose above the defense for a two-handed alley oop slam.
Wiggins and Parker, near locks to be top five overall selections in the 2014 NBA Draft, will face a kind of pressure James and Jordan never did.
Neither James nor Jordan had the same media hype surrounding their college careers, as NBA rules state that drafted players must be at least 19 years old during the calendar year to enter the NBA Draft. During Jordan's era, many star players stayed in college beyond their sophomore year, while James played in an era when high school stars routinely jumped from the high school ranks to the NBA.
Wiggins and Parker are considered the best NBA prospects in several years.
Currently covering NBA, NFL, MLB, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, focusing on trades, controversy, and injury updates. Joined IB Times in August 2012.