Before Andrew Wiggins was anointed "the best high school player since LeBron," that title was reserved for Jabari Parker, who gained national fame for his performances at Chicago's Simeon Academy.

For all of the great players to play at Duke under Mike Krzyzewski, it's not hyperbole to suggest that Parker may be the most naturally talented and highly touted prospect of them all.

Unlike some other recent high school phenoms to hit the scene, Parker has been delivering on the promise of his potential from Day 1. He became the first player since Kevin Durant to score 20 or more in his first seven games, and his diverse scoring repertoire has led some to draw comparisons to Carmelo Anthony.

Despite a rather inefficient 7-for-21 performance in Duke's 72-68 loss against Arizona last Friday, Parker is averaging 23 points and eight rebounds while shooting 55.4 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range in eight games. He's already gone against fellow star freshmen Andrew Wiggins of Kansas and Aaron Gordon of Arizona and more than held his own on the offensive end.

...

Parker, who struggled to get jumpers to fall against the Wildcats, also displayed maturity for a freshman by deciding to assert himself to get easier looks. In doing so, he showcased a deft feel for scoring with big bodies around him, as well as some impressive post play, particularly on one possession in which he sealed his smaller defender to the inside and got a dunk.

And perhaps we can use that as a hint as to where Parker's game is headed. In some ways, he's similar to Paul Pierce: Parker lacks a lean frame, but has tremendous strength and surprising athleticism. He's unafraid as a scorer and can bully smaller wings on the block.

If Parker can develop the same sort of craftiness on the defensive end to compensate for his lack of elite quickness, he could pester talented players the same way Pierce has in the NBA. What's more, Parker willingly competes on both ends and has been a solid help defender and shot-blocker down low.

Parker has also already shown improvement as he gets older -- let's remember these freshmen are 18 and 19 years old.