Duke basketball guard a consolation prize for dejected fanbase

Duke basketball guard Trevor Keels (David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard Trevor Keels (David Banks-USA TODAY Sports) /

A Duke basketball guard is hoping to be a consolation prize for a dejected fanbase. 

It was not a great night for the New York Knicks but its fans are hoping Duke basketball guard Trevor Keels can lift its spirits.

Keels watched his four Blue Devil teammates; Paolo Banchero (No. 1), Mark Williams (No. 15), AJ Griffin (No. 16), and Wendell Moore (No. 26) all be selected in the first round while the freshman guard slid into the second round.

But it was the Knicks, who have been busy making trades throughout the draft, that selected Trevor Keels with the No. 42 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Keels’ decision to enter and remain in the draft was very controversial as many draft experts believed that the Clinton, Maryland native would have benefitted from another season with at Duke.

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However, the 6-foot-5, 221-pound guard took his decision to remain in the draft down to the final hours before the deadline in which players were allowed to withdraw and return to school.

Trevor Keels was the only selection for the Knicks on Thursday night that the team retained as its other selection, France’s Ousmane Dieng, at No. 11 overall was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

New York also acquired the draft rights to Memphis’ star center Jalen Duren before trading him and Kemba Walker to the Detroit Pistons.

Keels was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team in his only season at Duke while averaging 11.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game on 41.9-percent shooting from the floor and an inconsistent 31.2-percent from 3-point range.

Duke basketball product very familiar with his new home

Trevor Keels’ best performance of the season came in his college debut under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, his new home with the New York Knicks, when he scored 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field in a victory over No. 10 Kentucky.

Keels will also join former Blue Devil RJ Barrett, a cornerstone to the rebuild of the franchise and No. 3 overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, in New York.

ALSO READ: Duke captain ties program history with draft selection

The 2022 NBA Draft marks the first time in Duke basketball history that there have been five selections picks, regardless of round, in a single draft.

The upcoming months will be vital to the success of Trevor Keels as he will compete in the NBA Summer League with the Knicks in hopes of making an impression on the coaching staff and front office going into training camp in the fall.

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