Duke basketball’s deciding factor: What to expect from Trevor Keels

Duke basketball signee Trevor Keels (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Duke basketball signee Trevor Keels (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Trevor Keels may well determine whether Duke basketball gets over the hump.

The third-highest ranked incoming Duke basketball recruit could be exactly what the Blue Devils need to finally acquire that highly coveted sixth national championship.

With close to an entire revamp of the roster, Trevor Keels provides an element that Duke strongly lacked last season. Focusing solely on what the five-star brings to the team, his addition should have a major impact.

Coming out of high school, Keels unanimously ranks as a top-25 prospect in the nation. Both 247Sports and Rivals have him at No. 19, while ESPN.com puts him at No. 21. Since he is still revered as one of the best prospects among his peers, he could easily jump up to be a top-10 player in his draft class.

The 6-foot-5 sturdy combo guard had one of the greatest seasons among this next Duke basketball freshman class.

During his senior season at Paul VI High School (Va.), Keels averaged a whopping 28.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 3.8 steals per contest while recording six triple-doubles. Not only was he undoubtedly one of the most dominant high school athletes, but he also displayed his versatility to the basketball world.

Keels comes to Durham with some familiar ties to the team, as he and returning sophomore guard Jeremy Roach were former teammates in high school. The combination of those two players helped lead the Panthers to a state championship. A good sign for Duke basketball faithful.

Although he isn’t the most hyped incoming Blue Devil, Keels gives an edge to the Blue Devils that many other teams don’t have the luxury of enjoying.

What does the Duke basketball freshman bring to the Blue Devils?

The Virginia native brings a complete package whenever he steps on the court. He’s a prolific scorer, but Trevor Keels can also facilitate and control the game in many other aspects, which will be incredibly important as a Blue Devil since freshman power forward Paolo Banchero is most likely going to be given the status as the go-to guy.

With Keels being able to provide an impact in other ways than just scoring, this allows Duke to be more versatile on offense as a group. Although Jeremy Roach will probably be the starting point guard, there is a high possibility that there will be numerous offensive sets with Keels as the primary ball-handler.

His shooting ability is among the elite, which was a desperate need for last year’s Duke team. Whether it’s on spot-up shots or off the dribble, Keels has the ability to put the ball in the basket. He seems to have a natural feel for the game and doesn’t force anything on offense.

Also, the fierce competitor makes sound decisions of the other end of the court.

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Keels may be the team’s third option, but he could easily take over the game when necessary and carry the offensive burden. This relieves pressure on the other incoming five-star prospects, AJ Griffin and Paolo Banchero.

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This star trio of Duke rookies brings an incredible amount of skill and talent, which could result in them achieving what the 2018-19 Blue Devils’ big three — Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish — wasn’t able to accomplish.