From Marvin Bagley to Harry Giles, ranking all of Duke's 16 one-and-done players under Coach K
Where each Blue Devil who left for the NBA Draft after just one season ranks top to bottom
Duke freshman Wendell Carter Jr. became the sixteenth player in the history of the Blue Devils basketball program to go one-and-done following a . His decision, which officially marks a departure of all five of Duke's starters from last season, adds him to the list of teammates Marvin Bagley, Trevon Duval and Gary Trent Jr. who are all exiting stage left after one season. But they're hardly the first Duke players to leave town early in pursuit of professional careers.
Although the one-and-done has become a trending sensation in recent years, Duke has been dealing with it in some capacity dating back to 19 years ago when, in 1999, Corey Maggette stunningly left Duke for the NBA. Despite Maggette playing a role off the bench, his talent and production in sparing usage was enough to earn him a first-round NBA Draft selection.
So in the offseason spirit, we've decided to rank all of Duke's early exiters who went one-and-done. But first, an all-encompassing list in chronological order of all the Duke players who were one-and-done.
Gary Trent Jr.
Wendell Carter Jr.
Now it's time to get down to business. Here's a look at all 16 one-and-done Duke players, ranked based on their collegiate production and overall impact.
1. Marvin Bagley, 2018
Bagley was the best player for perhaps the most talented Duke team ever under Mike Krzyzewski. Averaging 21 points, 11 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game, he was named the ACC's Player of the Year, and was the catalyst of the Blue Devils' bruising front line last season that finished sixth in total rebounds per game and 14th in total blocks.
And even more impressive in his stellar season: Bagley reclassified last summer. If not for that move from the 2018 class to 2017, he'd have been preparing for his freshman season this summer. Instead, he's primed to make millions by likely becoming one of the top draft picks in mid-June thanks to his off-the-charts production.
2. Jahlil Okafor, 2015
Duke went 35-4 and won the national championship in 2014-15, in large part because of Jahlil Okafor's freshman stardom. He, too, earned ACC Player of the Year honors, averaging 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.
Though Okafor's back-to-the-basket game hasn't quite meshed in the NBA as an old school big, it was the sole reason why he was viewed as the most fearsome center in the country at Duke. He was an unstoppable force in the paint whose 66.4 field goal percentage ranks 32nd among all college basketball players at the Division I level since 1992, according to Sports Reference.
3. Jabari Parker, 2014
Jabari Parker quietly had one of the most productive seasons among those who have opted to go one-and-done at Duke. His 19.1 points per game ranks second among the 16 on this list, and his 8.7 rebounds per game ranks third, behind only the 6-foot-11 Bagley and the newly-declared 6-10 Carter.
Parker was a freak athlete who, despite standing at 6-8, played primarily in the post and found great success doing so at Duke. But why he was great was because he was far more than that. His ability to knock down shots from the perimeter unlocked all sorts of options for the Blue Devils and their offense, which finished No. 1 in adjusted efficiency at KenPom.com in his lone season.
There wasn't anyone who could stop Jabari when he was cookin'. You could only hope to contain him, and boy oh boy was that step back as pure as the driven snow.
4. Luol Deng, 2004
Deng was on a Duke team that probably should have won it all in 2003-2004, surrounded by phenoms J.J. Redick, Shelden Williams, Chris Duhon and Daniel Ewing. And he was arguably Duke's most impactful player on that squad, averaging 15.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists for a 31-6 Duke team that fell to UConn in the Final Four.
Deng was a pure bucket-getter, plain and simple, and his ability to smoothly tote the rock off the bounce made him as dynamic a freshman as there was in the sport at the time. Get a load of some of his clips. Electric.
5. Tyus Jones, 2015
Tyus Jones gets a bit of a bump to No. 5 on this list because of his instrumental role in leading Duke to the national championship in 2015. Though he averaged only 11.8 points and 5.6 assists per game in the regular season, his impact when it mattered most -- like his 23 point, 5 rebound outburst in the title-clinching game versus Wisconsin -- puts him comfortably in the top 5.
Since his departure, the point guard position has been a turnstile with Grayson Allen, Derryk Thornton, Frank Jackson and Trevon Duval all trying their hand at the position. But Jones was as steady-handed as they come, and there's something to be said about a reliable, sturdy point guard who can facilitate on both ends of the floor.
6. Jayson Tatum, 2017
Jayson Tatum made 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game look effortless in his time at Duke. There were tons of flashes of greatness during that season, despite questions about his ball-handling and what role he was to play, and he entrenched himself into Duke lore with a posterizing slam over North Carolina that I still can't quite get over.
7. Brandon Ingram, 2016
A wiry frame didn't hold back Brandon Ingram from unleashing his high-level scoring prowess on the ACC in the 2015 season, as he finished second on the team in scoring with 17.3 points per game while shooting 44.2 percent from the field and 41 percent from the 3-point line. Combine that with a 6-9 frame, and you understand why he was nearly impossible to scheme for defensively.
He put up only slightly better numbers than Jayson Tatum, who did his damage as the third option with fewer opportunities. So I've got him right behind the Celtics rookie for that reason.
8. Justise Winslow, 2015
Justise Winslow's career at Duke will always be defined by his March Madness star turn. In fueling Duke's 2015 title, Winslow was named an NCAA All-Tournament performer, averaging 14.3 points and unloading a two-way style of play that gave Duke an advantage on both ends of the floor.
Winslow's game fit perfectly for Duke, too. Despite being a freshman, he was physically gifted and used his size to his advantage by playing downhill and almost always finishing his touches at the rim. He was a full grown man in between the lines.
9. Austin Rivers, 2012
Austin Rivers had moments -- and I mean moments -- where he was knock your socks off, jaw-dropping impressive. His quick burst off the bounce and hop-step move inside the lane was sensational, and the 3-point range he displayed seemed limitless at times during his Duke tenure.
Rivers averaged 15.5 points and 3.4 rebounds during his time in Durham, and shot 43.3 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from the 3-point line. The level of confidence with which he played was infectious to watch, and he was a bit of a folk hero in Durham because he backed it up on the court.
10. Wendell Carter Jr., 2018
Wendell Carter Jr. averaged 13.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game in a starting role, but was never perceived as the star for Duke despite his stellar per-40 numbers that suggested he was one of the most productive players per minute for the Blue Devils last season.
Carter's ability to rebound and carve out space in the lane is a work of art, and he wields his 6-10 frame like a trained samurai wielding a sword.
11. Kyrie Irving, 2011
We have arrived on the most difficult Duke player to place on this list. On one hand, Kyrie Irving played only 303 total minutes and missed most of his freshman season due to injury. But on the other, he was otherworldly in the time he was healthy...
I split the difference with Irving on this list. Had he been healthy for an entire season, he'd likely have warranted a top-3 selection. But even though he wasn't, I can't in good conscience put him any lower than 11. Irving joined a program that was coming off a national title with two preseason First Team All-Americans, and was quite obviously the best player from day one, averaging 17.5 points and 4.3 assists in only 11 games with the Blue Devils. It earned him a spot as the No. 1 pick in the following NBA Draft.
12. Trevon Duval, 2018
Trevon Duval -- who is affectionately referred to as-- arrived at Duke as a streetball demigod with handles to boot, and he did nothing to dissuade that belief by leading Duke in assists with 5.6 per game last season. Sure, his 3-point stroke could use some work at the next level. And his tendency to turn the ball over with overly risky passes sometimes led to questions about how he might translate to the next level. But his upside as a ball-handler at the next level is undeniable, and his court vision at Duke was uncanny. It's like everyone else on the floor saw black and white while he saw everything in three dimensional color.
13. Corey Maggette, 1999
Corey Maggette played the third fewest minutes among those from Duke who went one-and-done, and the fewest among those who weren't hampered by injuries. He averaged only 17.7 minutes per game in a reserve role, yet still managed to put up 10.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest for the Blue Devils.
14. Frank Jackson, 2017
Frank Jackson never quite found a fit at Duke, as he played both on and off the ball as Coach K experimented where to slot him. But his impact defensively as a lead defender and offensively as a ball-handler was of great value in his only Duke season. He averaged 10.9 points and 1.7 assists per game in playing only 24.9 minutes per game, and lived above the rim as much as any Duke guard I can remember.
Jackson's overall ability to get to the bucket when necessary earned him a reserve, but nevertheless important, role in the Blue Devils' blueprint.
15. Gary Trent Jr., 2018
That Gary Trent Jr. lands at No. 15 on this list only solidifies the top 14. Trent was a solid freshman last season, averaging 14.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in starting all 37 games. But he was never the focal point on offense for the Blue Devils. What he was, however, was one of Duke's most trusty sharpshooters from the 3-point line.
Trent shot 40.2 percent on the season, and made two or more triples in 25 of Duke's games.
16. Harry Giles, 2017
It's cruel what college basketball may have been robbed with in the case of Harry Giles. Before he came to Duke, he was viewed as a contender for the No. 1 NBA Draft pick, but injuries derailed what was sure to be a promising college career.
Giles finished his time at Duke with 300 total minutes -- fewer than even Kyrie Irving -- and put up a pedestrian 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
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