Jabari Parker had a dominant game against Boston College on February 8.
The Blue Devils’ freshman scored a career-high 29 points and pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds
Eagles players called Parker “a great player”. The Boston media said he “overpowered” the Eagles.
Even Mike Krzyzewski, the Hall of Fame Duke coach who gave the media a lesson on throwing the word “great” around too loosely, used Parker’s game against Boston College as an example of proper use of the word. He also described Parker’s night as “a monster game”.
Still, Parker’s night wasn’t quite perfect. As Krzyzewski pointed out after the game, “Only one shot was a three.”
Coach K meant it as a compliment, since Parker was aggressively attacking the rim, instead of settling for long jumpers. However, Parker missed the 3-pointer, leaving a rare zero in his stat line.
Parker made 12 shots and 5 free throws. He pulled down 5 offensive rebounds and 11 on the defensive end. He had an assist and blocked 3 shots. The only other missing ingredient on Parker’s trip to Boston was a steal.
Three games earlier, in Duke’s last contest in January, Parker made 7 shots, 2 treys and 5 free throws. Two of his 11 rebounds were offensive, the rest defensive. He had 21 points, an assist, a block and a steal. It was a “12 Days of Christmas” stat line—a little of everything.
There are 10 positive stats that a player can accrue during a game (made field goals, 3’s and free throws; offensive, defensive, and total rebounds; points, steals, assists and blocks). Back in the day, players who could fill all 10 columns were few and far between. The big men who pulled down rebounds and blocked shots would camp out in the post, meaning they didn’t make 3-pointers. Outside shooters wouldn’t be able to scratch in the power categories.
Players like Parker represent the new generation. They can score inside and out. They can make plays and finish them. And they can hang numbers in every statistical category.
All of which means we need to come up with a name for the new accomplishment—recording stats in all 10 columns. Dick Vitale would call it a “stat-sheet stuffer,” but that’s a little wordy. Baseball guys might call it “the cycle,” but that’s not catchy enough.
There are some creative options—a bar code (since the bare minimum would be a series of ones lined up next to each other), a picket fence (same reason), a ten-tacle. But we’ll go with a spin-off of the old-school measure of a versatile player—10 rebounds and 10 points. Instead of a double-double, we’ll call this new accomplishment, the Zero-Zeroes.
Parker has five Zero-Zeroes on the season—against Florida Atlantic, UNC-Asheville, ECU, Vermont, and Pitt. That’s more than all but four other ACC teams and ranks third in the league.
There have been 61 Zero-Zeroes in the ACC this season, accomplished by 33 different players. Every team in the conference has had at least one.
The four players other than Parker on the Operation Basketball preseason All-ACC team have combined for three Zero-Zeroes this season. Syracuse’s C.J. Fair has one, as does Rodney Hood. Virginia’s Joe Harris doesn’t have any. Last season’s ACC Player of the Year, Erick Green, didn’t have any.
On the other hand, seldom-used Duke freshman Semi Ojeleye had 10 points against UNC Asheville, on 3 made shots, a pair of 3-pointers, 2 free throws, 2 offensive boards, 3 defensive (5 total), an assist, a block, and a steal. Other than Hood and Parker, he’s the only other Blue Devil to hit the milestone this season.
Duke transfer Michael Gbinije is averaging just 3.3 points in 12.5 minutes per game, but he’s recorded two Zero-Zeroes this season, which is tied for tenth in the ACC.
ACC Zero-Zero Leaders:
The history of the Zero-Zeroes at Duke is just as counter-intuitive. Thomas Hill had more of them than Grant Hill. Elton Brand, Carlos Boozer, and Austin Rivers never had any. All-time leading scorer J.J. Redick had as many as four-year reserve Greg Koubek (one). Naismith Award winner Danny Ferry had fewer (7) than Cherokee Parks (9).
Forty four Duke players have recorded a total of 305 Zero-Zeroes since 1986, when the 3-point line was added to college basketball. (The ACC experimented with the line in 1983, but there are no records of offensive and defensive rebounds.) They’re almost perfectly divided between ACC games (153) and non-conference games (152).
Parker is already 18th on the Duke career list, tied with Jay Williams, Roshown McLeod, Shavlik Randolph, and Daniel Ewing. Here’s the top 10
Duke Career Leaders:
Battier had seven Zero-Zeroes in NCAA Tournament games. No other Blue Devil had more than 3. His four Zero-Zeroes in the ACC Tournament are tied with Laettner for most ever.
He’s also 18th on the single-season list.
Duke Single Season Leaders:
|Battier - 2001
|Battier - 2000
|Kyle Singler - 2009
|Christian Laettner - 1992
|Christian Laettner - 1991
|Mike Dunleavy - 2001
Parker’s five Zero-Zeroes is more the other two competitors for national freshman of the year combined. (Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins has 2, as does Kentucky’s Julius Randle.) It also ties him with Kyle Singler for second-most. If he gets one more, he’ll match Luol Deng’s record.
It’s an odd milestone, but it’s a good measure of versatility. A player that accomplishes a Zero-Zeroes is doing everything he can to help his team win. Need proof? How about this: The opponent who’s been victimized most often by Duke Zero-Zeroes is North Carolina, who has seen it happen 25 times. Next on the list? Maryland, who has given up 23 of them to Duke.