Duke basketball’s top 10 shooters of the past decade

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
6 of 10
Duke basketball
Duke basketball guard Luke Kennard (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Top 10 Duke basketball shooters of the past decade: No. 5 Luke Kennard

Scouting Report. Guard. Luke Kennard. 5. Pick Analysis. 2015-17. player. 434

Luke Kennard is the only lefty to make the list. He is also one of the best left-handers to ever come through Durham. What made Kennard such a special player was that he could use both of his hands. He understandably preferred the left but was so tough to defend because he could use both hands to finish, particularly around the basket.

Kennard was another guy who every time he shot, it was expected that the shot would go in. He had an extremely quick release and an ability to make shots from awkward and difficult angles. That made him a very difficult cover, and despite lacking elite athleticism and speed, he almost never got blocked. Kennard was a crafty player who knew how to utilize shot fakes and pivots to his advantage.

He had a good freshman season but was marred by inconsistency. In the 2015-16 season, Kennard showed glimpses that he could be a go-to scorer when he put up 30 at home against Notre Dame, including four 3-pointers. He also dropped 26 points, including six 3-pointers, against NC State. Kennard finished that season with a total of 55 made threes.

The next season was a breakout one for Kennard. Many, including myself, expected guys like Grayson Allen, Jayson Tatum, or Harry Giles to do the bulk of the scoring, but it was Kennard. He took a huge step forward in the 2016-17 season. He went from averaging 11.8 points to almost 20 as a sophomore. What’s even more remarkable is that Kennard raised his 3-point percentage more than 11 points. He went from 32 percent as a freshman to close to 44 as a sophomore.

At times throughout the 2016-17 season, the Blue Devils lived and died by the shooting of Luke Kennard. He scored 29 points on 5-for-7 from three in a win over Florida. He also dropped 34 on the road at Virginia Tech.

But Kennard’s best career game came at Wake Forest, where he scored 34 points and shot 6-for-6 from three, including the game-winner. All but four of his points came in the second half. It was one of the most efficient and heroic performances of the past decade.

Kennard finished that 2016-2017 season as the ACC’s third-leading 3-point shooter with 88 makes. He also led the ACC that year in offensive rating. Luke Kennard’s incredible sophomore season led him to become a first-round draft pick the following summer. He continues to light it up from the outside with the Detroit Pistons.