Afternoon Links: Is Jabari hitting the wall?

What we’re reading while we marvel at C.L. Brown’s good humor. Submit links via Twitter.

  • Is it the freshman wall, or something else? NBC’s Rob Dauster digs through some film and tries to figure out why Duke freshman Jabari Parker -- a surefire All-American before the start of the new year -- has seen his numbers plummet since.

  • UNC Chancellor Carol L. Folt published an open letter Thursday in response to the pretty much nonstop wave of stories that continue to beleaguer the Tar Heels’ already-beleaguered athletics reputation. It is serious in tone ... but also a little bit dismissive, maybe? We quote, you decide: “Even as we continue this work, Carolina is facing a surge of new stories in the national and local media about the academic preparation of our student-athletes. This interest was sparked in part by highly publicized claims about student literacy, and continues in the media almost daily. I take these claims very seriously, but we have been unable to reconcile these claims with either our own facts or with those data currently being cited as the source for the claims. Moreover, the data presented in the media do not match up with those data gathered by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. For example, only two of the 321 student-athletes admitted in 2012 and 2013 fell below the SAT and ACT levels that were cited in a recent CNN report as the threshold for reading levels for first-year students. And those two students are in good academic standing. Nevertheless, we are investigating all the claims being made and, if they are found to have merit, I will take all appropriate actions. We also will do our best to correct assertions we believe are not based in fact.”

  • Speaking of North Carolina ... this whole Michael Jordan auction story is kind of insane.

  • Via /r/CollegeBasketball, here’s a hilarious snapshot of the results of a SportsNation poll that asked respondents whether it was OK for Indiana fans to storm the court after Tuesday night’s win over Wisconsin. Forty-nine states said yes. One said no. You get one guess.

  • Mark Titus’ latest power rankings are, as always, an enjoyable read, and this time they come via a quite tidily redesigned (if I do say so myself) Grantland platform. Synergy!