Duke’s Trevor Keels leapfrogs to NBA draft

Duke freshman Trevor Keels is the fourth Blue Devils player last week to announce his intention to enter the NBA Draft.

The school announced Keels’ decision on Saturday and said it plans to hire an agent.

The 6-foot-5, 221-pound guard is a potential first-round prospect and is ESPN’s 25th-ranked draft prospect. He averaged 11.5 points while providing size and strength to the Blue Devils perimeter, both as a driving scorer and as a ball handler.

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

“The whole season was a movie and I’m grateful to have been part of Coach K’s final run,” Keels said in a statement.

Keels trails 7-foot-1 second Mark Williams, 6-10 star rookie Paolo Banchero and 6-5 wing Wendell Moore Jr. in the draft.

Keels got off to a good start, scoring 25 points on physical offensive play in a season-opening win over Kentucky. He missed three midseason games with a calf injury and came off the bench for the NCAA Tournament when the team moved to Jeremy Roach to get better defensive pressure on the ball.

Part of a vaunted recruiting class, Keels helped Duke achieve Krzyzewski’s record 13th Final Four while winning the program’s first Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title since 2006.

Keels had two great performances at the NCAA Tournament, first with 12 points and a critical 3-pointer with 3:24 to go as Duke rallied from five behind to beat Michigan State at the round 2. He finished with 19 points in the loss to rival North Carolina in the national semifinals in New Orleans.

“Trevor has made tremendous progress throughout the year and has supported us through critical times,” Krzyzewski said in a statement.

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

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More AP 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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