Duke basketball standout staying in North Carolina, drafted by Hornets

Duke basketball stars Tre Jones and Vernon Carey Jr. (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball stars Tre Jones and Vernon Carey Jr. (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

It took a while, but a Duke basketball product was finally selected in the NBA Draft.

For the first time since 2010, a Duke basketball player did not hear his name called in the First Round of the NBA Draft.

However, the Blue Devils only had to wait until two selections into the Second Round for a player to be selected as Vernon Carey Jr. became the first Dukie off the board in the 2020 NBA Draft.

The ACC Freshman of the Year will remain in the state of North Carolina after being selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the No. 32 overall pick (No. 2 pick in the Second Round).

Carey Jr.’s stock was shockingly low entering the night, and more heads were spinning when Kansas senior big man Udoka Azubuike was selected in the first round ahead of the Duke freshman, who dominated Azubuike in the first game of the 2019-20 season.

ALSO READ: Former Duke star traded in draft night’s biggest blockbuster

In his one season at Duke, Vernon Carey Jr. averaged 17.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 57.7 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from 3-point range.

The Southwest Ranches, Florida native dropped nearly 30 pounds this offseason in his preparation for the draft and the professional level, trying to become more mobile on the perimeter.

How the Duke basketball product fits with the Charlotte Hornets

Vernon Carey Jr. could have the ability to step right in and make an impact with his new team as soon as possible as he joins the No. 3 overall pick LaMelo Ball in Charlotte.

ALSO READ: Hall of Famer gives Duke draft prospect glowing endorsement

The Hornets were one of the franchises that were not included in the NBA Bubble this summer as the league resumed its season as the team finished with a 23-42 record, 10th in the Eastern Conference, and has not made the playoffs since the 2015-16 season.

Things will escalate quickly for Vernon Carey Jr. as he will soon begin his first training camp as the regular season is set to begin on December 22.

More. Former Duke basketball standout picks up shooting tips from the best. light