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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / October 20.
  • Duke’s Luke Kennard Declares for NBA Draft

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    Duke sophomore Luke Kennard will enter the upcoming NBA Draft and will sign with an agent, the school announced.

    The 6-foot-6 Kennard is currently projected at No. 25 by DraftExpress.com.

    He is the third Duke player this offseason to declare for the Draft, following freshmen Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles. Duke also loses big man Amile Jefferson and guard Matt Jones to graduation, and forwards Sean Obi and Chase Jeter to graduation.

    Kennard, a consensus second-team All-American, led Duke in scoring with an average of 19.5 points per game while shooting .489 from the floor, .438 from outside the arc and .856 from the free throw line. His 722 total points on the year represented the 16th-best single-season total in program history, while his .438 three-point percentage ranked 10th on Duke’s single-season chart.

    “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. “Being a member of the Duke Basketball brotherhood is always going to be special to me. I have nothing but love and respect for everyone in the Duke program. I want to thank my coaches, teammates, the best fans in the game and everyone in Franklin for being by my side every step of this journey. I have a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I’m confident that I’m ready and have a great foundation for success at the NBA level.”

    The Franklin, Ohio, native scored in double figures in 35 of Duke’s 37 games on the season, eclipsing the 20-point mark a team-high 19 times. He ranked second in the ACC in scoring and three-point field goal percentage, fourth in free throw percentage, seventh in three-pointers per game (2.38) and eighth in field goal percentage while averaging the third-most minutes per game (35.5) in the conference.

    He made at least one three-point field goal in 40 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in Duke history and the 10th-longest stretch in ACC history.

    Kennard eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career on Feb. 25 at Miami, becoming just the 12th Duke player (and fifth under Coach K) to hit that milestone 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).

    “I’ve loved coaching Luke and having he and his family in our program,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Luke’s skill set is such a perfect fit for the way the NBA game has evolved and we’re all excited to see him flourish at the next level. He is a wonderful person who will immediately be an asset to an NBA team.”

    For his career, Kennard averaged 15.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 31.2 minutes. He was a career .461 shooter from the floor and .383 from three-point range. Kennard’s .867 career free throw percentage is the second-best in Duke history (min. 200 FTs made).

    He scored at least 20 points in 35.6 percent (26-of-73) of his games in a Duke uniform.

    Duke has produced at least one first-round NBA Draft pick in each of the last six years. Coach K has mentored 32 first-round picks, including a draft-record 21 lottery selections.

    Photo/Release: Duke Athletics

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.