So much for it being a good Friday. Friar junior David Duke Jr posted on Twitter and Instagram that he has declared for the 2021 NBA Draft. Duke had a great season for the Friars, averaging 16.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, and 4.8 apg. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to get the Friars in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
Duke’s draft stock certainly took a hit with his slump towards the end of the season, as he is projected by many to be a late second rounder. So some may think the decision to leave now as a questionable decision. However he put a lot of things on tape that will make NBA GMs salivate. His ability to create his own shot and knock down the three ball at a solid clip is what you want in a prospect. He also has pro size, length and athleticism. I bet he’ll shoot up draft boards through workouts and the draft process.
For the Friars it’s certainly a tough blow, after it seemed like the good news wouldn’t stop. Had Duke returned he probably would have been considered a pre-season all-American. Him and Watson would be one of the best duos in the sport and would get a shot at redemption for the NCAA tournament. The Friars will have to look for others to for offense. This could actually be a good thing for AJ Reeves, who can have the ball in his hands more than the past two seasons. Also look for the Friars to continue to add to the roster through the transfer portal.
It just stinks that we were robbed of seeing a Duke wearing the Friar uniform for a NCAA Tournament run.