Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Duke’s Trevor Keels makes another jump in NBA draft

Duke freshman Trevor Kielce is the fourth Blue Devils player in the past week to announce plans to enter the NBA draft.

The school announced Kielce’s decision on Saturday and said it planned to hire an agent.

The 6-foot-5, 221-pound guard is a potential first-round prospect and is ranked as ESPN’s No. 25 draft prospect. As both a driving scorer and ballhandler, he averaged 11.5 points, providing size and strength to the Blue Devils’ girth.

Part of one of the nation’s top recruiting classes based out of Clinton, Maryland, the Keels started 26 games in the final season for Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski.

“The entire season was one film and I am grateful to be a part of Coach K’s last ride,” Kielce said in a statement.

Kielce follows 7-foot-1 sophomore Mark Williams6-10 star freshman Paolo Banchero and 6-5 wing Wendell Moore Jr. in the draft.

Kielce got off to a strong start with his physical attack game in his opening win of the season against Kentucky, scoring 25 points, He missed three midseason games with a calf injury and was off the bench for the NCAA Tournament when the team turned to Jeremy Roach to get better defensive pressure on the ball.

Part of a touted recruiting class, Kielce helped Duke reach Krzyzewski’s record 13th Final Four, while also winning the program’s first outright Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title since 2006.

Kielce had two big NCAA Tournament appearances, the first with 12 points and a crucial 3-pointer with 3:24 as Duke rallied from a late five to beat Michigan State in Round 2., He closed with 19 points in a loss to rival North Carolina in the national semifinals in New Orleans.,

“Trevor made tremendous improvements throughout the year and stepped up to us at critical moments,” Krzyzewski said in a statement.

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter https://twitter.com/aaronbeardap . follow on

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More Associated Press College Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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