Duke Basketball: Marques Bolden to forgo senior season, remain in Draft

Marques Bolden, Duke basketball (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Marques Bolden, Duke basketball (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The Duke Basketball team lost a big man on Monday evening as Marques Bolden will remain in the NBA Draft and forgo his senior season in Durham.

Marques Bolden will keep his name in the NBA Draft and not return to Duke University for his senior season, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported on Monday evening.

Bolden entered his name in the 2019 NBA Draft back on April 22, the last day to do so, along with fellow big man and rising senior Javin DeLaurier.

The 6-foot-11 center came to Duke with very high aspirations, but it seemed like something always got in the way.

In his freshman season injuries and untimely illnesses were the issue, along with having trouble adjusting to the college game.

After many rumors swirled that the No. 16 overall player in the Class of 2016 would transfer from Duke, Bolden opted to return, but found it tough to see the floor after the Blue Devils had brought in the duo of Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. to man in the backcourt.

Now a sophomore, it was either enter the NBA Draft or return to Duke since the transfer route wouldn’t seem as a viable option due to having to sit out a season, so the DeSoto, Texas native was back in Durham for his junior season.

While last season was Bolden’s best, he still didn’t receive the minutes he probably wanted due to the explosion of Zion Williamson and splitting time with DeLaurier.

In his final season at Duke, Marques Bolden averaged 5.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game in just 19.1 minutes per game while shooting 57.9% from 3-point range and a much improved 72.6% from the free throw line.

The two-time ACC Champion was not invited to the NBA Combine or the G-League Combine but has individually worked out for several NBA teams.

Marques Bolden is the only Top-17 player from the Class of 2016 that was still in college last season and only he and Austin Wiley of Auburn were the only Top-21 players in the class still playing collegiately.

With incoming freshman Vernon Carey Jr. ready to man the center position next season, playing time would have been hard to come by once again for Bolden, so the decision to head to the NBA may have been an easy one.

Haynes reports that Bolden will be represented by Rich Gray of Gray Area Sports Group and Chris Gaston of Family First Sports Firm.

Marques Bolden is not included in ESPN’s Top-100 NBA Draft prospects.