Duke basketball: Vernon Carey Jr. declares for the 2020 NBA Draft

Duke basketball center Vernon Carey Jr. (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images)
Duke basketball center Vernon Carey Jr. (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball center, Vernon Carey Jr., will be forgoing the remaining years of his eligibility and entering the 2020 NBA Draft after one season with the Blue Devils.

The expected has finally become a reality with Vernon Carey Jr. as the Duke basketball center will enter the 2020 NBA Draft, with no expectations of withdrawing his name.

Carey Jr.’s decision was expected and was first reported on Friday afternoon by Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.

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In his first and only season with Duke, the Florida native was named as the ACC Rookie of the Year as well as the National Freshman of the Year after averaging 17.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game.

The 6-foot-10 big man shot 57.7 percent from the floor and 38.1 percent from 3-point range while struggling at the free throw line, shooting just 67.0 percent.

Vernon Carey Jr. joins sophomore point guard Tre Jones and freshman wing Cassius Stanley to leave Duke early and enter the 2020 NBA Draft while the Blue Devils will also be losing Javin DeLaurier, Jack White, and Justin Robinson to graduation.

Mike Krzyzewski brings in another stacked recruiting class of forwards that includes freshman Mark Williams, Henry Coleman, and Jaemyn Brakefield, as well as landing Columbia graduate transfer Patrick Tape, who will be immediately eligible.

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Duke is still waiting on official word from freshman Matthew Hurt regarding his future plans, however, signs are pointing to a return to Durham for a second season for the former projected lottery pick.

The Blue Devils also will return freshman Wendell Moore, who showed tremendous promise in his inaugural campaign.

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As the current roster stands, Duke has two open scholarships for the 2020-21 season, with Hurt’s decision still pending, as the roster is much more in focus for the upcoming year.

Some thought not having the chance to play in the ACC or NCAA Tournament would weigh in the decision of Vernon Carey Jr., but the projected first-round pick is opting to head to the professional ranks without getting a taste of the postseason in college basketball.

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The 2020 NBA Draft is scheduled for June 20, but reports have surfaced on Friday that teams are hoping for the draft to be pushed back to August due to COVID-19, which caused the suspension of the NBA season and the anticipated postponement or cancelation of draft workouts.