Home » AJ Griffin, ‘a Blue Devil for life,’ becomes the fifth Duke men’s basketball player from Final Four team to leave early for NBA draft

AJ Griffin, ‘a Blue Devil for life,’ becomes the fifth Duke men’s basketball player from Final Four team to leave early for NBA draft

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Duke freshman AJ Griffin is heading to the NBA, changing into the fifth Blue Devils participant prior to now week to declare early for the draft.

The varsity introduced Griffin’s choice Sunday, the final day for gamers to declare themselves eligible for the NBA draft. Duke mentioned the 6-foot-6, 222-pound wing thought to be a possible lottery draft choose plans to rent an agent.

“It was a dream come true,” Griffin mentioned in assertion. “My experiences have helped put together me for this second and I’m proud to know I will likely be a Blue Satan for all times.”

Griffin’s NBA transfer follows that of 7-1 sophomore Mark Williams, 6-10 star freshman Paolo Banchero, 6-5 wing Wendell Moore Jr. and 6-5 guard Trevor Keels. A part of one of many nation’s high recruiting courses out of Ossining, New York, Griffin is ranked as ESPN’s No. 8 draft prospect.

He averaged 10.4 factors whereas offering measurement, exterior capturing and defensive potential to the wing for the Blue Devils. That manufacturing got here regardless of him lacking most of his final two highschool seasons due to knee and ankle accidents, in addition to a preseason knee damage that slowed his means of getting again in rhythm after prolonged absences.

His function grew as he grew to become extra comfy in returning to full-time motion. He moved into the highest lineup by mid-January and by no means left, beginning Duke’s final 25 video games. He had 22 factors on 8-for-11 capturing in his first begin at Wake Forest, the primary of 5 20-point outputs as a starter — the spotlight being a 27-point star-making flip in a win at rival North Carolina in early February.

Griffin made 71 of 159 3-pointers (44.7%), together with 10 video games as a starter with not less than three 3s.

Griffin helped Duke attain now-retired Corridor of Famer Mike Krzyzewski’s report thirteenth Closing 4 whereas profitable this system’s first outright Atlantic Coast Convention regular-season title since 2006.

“A.J. was among the best shooters within the nation and his skillset is precisely what NBA groups are on the lookout for,” Krzyzewski mentioned in a press release.

Whereas Duke is shedding loads of top-tier expertise as Jon Scheyer takes over for Krzyzewski, the Blue Devils can have guard Jeremy Roach — who introduced his return earlier within the week and had a robust postseason run — because the crew’s high returning scorer (8.6 factors, 27 begins).

Duke additionally has 247sports’ No. 1-ranked recruiting class, that includes high total prospect Dereck Energetic II, fellow large man Kyle Filipowski (No. 3) and small ahead Dariq Whitehead (No. 5).

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