The most unexpected spectacular season in 2016-17 came from Duke sophomore Luke Kennard. The shooting guard was a second team All-American and averaged 19.5 points while leading Duke to an ACC tournament title and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
On Thursday, Kennard officially declared for the NBA Draft with the intention of signing with an agent.
Kennard shot 44 percent on 3-pointers this season and his deft footwork, crafty handle and shot-creating ability could lead to him going in the first round. Plus, he’s a lefty. Not many of those.
“After considerable reflection, prayer and consultation with my family and coaches, I have decided to take the next step in pursuing my basketball dreams by entering the NBA Draft,” Kennard said in a statement.
The loss of Kennard was expected; it’s why we have Duke slotted seventh in our.
Kennard became only the fifth player under Mike Krzyzewski to score more than 1,000 career points prior to the end of his second season. His 1,147 career points were the fourth-most in Duke history by a player in his first two seasons, trailing only Jason Williams (1,333), Art Heyman (1,237) and Johnny Dawkins (1,165).
And now the Blue Devils will have to wait and see as to who will replace Kennard’s scoring output. The team has already lost Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles to the NBA. Matt Jones and Amile Jefferson graduate. Chase Jeter has transferred out. The only big decision that awaits: Grayson Allen. Does the most polarizing player in college basketball come back for a senior season, or does he walk away and take a chance on his volatile NBA stock?