Duke basketball: Blue Devils interested in flamethrower grad transfer

Northern Iowa guard and potential Duke basketball target AJ Green (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Northern Iowa guard and potential Duke basketball target AJ Green (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball is eyeing another “AJ” with a dagger from deep.

Although AJ Griffin has yet to declare for the 2022 NBA Draft, the expectation is that he will do so before Sunday’s 11:59 p.m. ET deadline. Last season, the freshman forward was the Duke basketball team’s premier 3-point shooter, knocking down 44.7 percent of his 4.1 attempts per game beyond the arc.

With that in mind, it’s now only fitting that first-year Duke head coach Jon Scheyer and his gang appear to have interest in another “AJ” who is pretty much money from downtown. According to multiple Twitter reports on Friday, Northern Iowa shooting guard AJ Green noted that the staff in Durham has been in contact with him.

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound senior, a two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, announced his intention to transfer earlier this week while also declaring for this summer’s NBA Draft (players have until June 1 to withdraw their names). He has the option to play one more year in college due to the NCAA’s ruling not to count the 2020-21 season against any player’s eligibility.

As a senior, Green averaged 18.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 41.0 percent from the field, 38.8 percent from 3-point land, and 91.5 percent from the charity stripe.

Worth a shot for Duke basketball

AJ Green might well be seriously considering a one-year stint in Durham. But as ESPN.com insider Jeff Borzello implied on Wednesday, the Duke coaches could have stiff competition from one of Green’s family members should the Blue Devils decide to enter the growing fray with an offer of their own:

“While Green becomes one of the best available players in the portal, speculation for most of the season has centered around Green ending up at Iowa State, sources told ESPN. Green’s father, Kyle, is an assistant coach with the Cyclones…”

Currently, the Blue Devils know they’ll welcome back point guard Jeremy Roach for his junior year and wing Joey Baker for a fifth season. Also, shooting guard Trevor Keels has yet to reveal his stay-or-go plans after a promising freshman campaign in Durham, and seldom-used point guard Jaylen Blakes will likely come back as a sophomore.

Meanwhile, Duke’s top-ranked 2022 recruiting class includes four-star shooting guard Jaden Schutt. That’s not to mention five-star small forward Dariq Whitehead, who possesses perimeter skills galore.

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