Many expected the offseason roster moves to come early and often for the Blue Devils, and a day after Jayson Tatum declared for the NBA Draft, the team found out it will lose another frontcourt player as well.
Sophomore forward Chase Jeter will transfer and finish his collegiate career elsewhere, the team announced on Twitter and in a press release Thursday afternoon.
NEWS: Chase Jeter will transfer from Duke after the spring semester.— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) March 23, 2017
Coach K: “Chase has been an outstanding young man in our program ...” pic.twitter.com/DHymjw4ZBK
The 6-foot-10 forward was expected to contribute to the Blue Devils' up front each of the past two seasons, but struggled to crack the rotation, averaging fewer than three points and three rebounds in fewer than 15 minutes per contest in both seasons.
“I have loved my time at Duke, getting a world-class education and competing alongside my brothers every day,” Jeter said in the release. “After careful consideration, I decided it would be best for me to transfer to a school closer to home. I’ve made long-lasting relationships here and I want to thank my teammates and coaches for the support they’ve given me over the last two years.”
The Las Vegas native spoke at length about how he had improved last offseason, particularly at the Adidas Nations showcase, but inconsistent play and a back surgery prevented him from making an impact in 2016-17 as Duke relied on Amile Jefferson, Tatum and Harry Giles up front.
Jeter will transfer after the spring semester, joining Michael Gbinije, Alex Murphy, Semi Ojeleye and Derryck Thornton as touted recruits to leave head coach Mike Krzyzewski's program since 2011.
“Chase has been an outstanding young man in our program for the last two years,” Krzyzewski said in the release. “He has been one of our top academic performers since he arrived on campus. Unfortunately, he was held back this season due to injury. We wish nothing but the absolute best for Chase and his family.”
With Jeter and Tatum gone, Jefferson graduating and Giles expected to also declare for the NBA Draft, the Blue Devils currently have sophomore Antonio Vrankovic and freshmen Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier as potential options up front. All three players played sparingly last season. Duke has signed five-star big man Wendell Carter for next season and is also still in the running for five-star center Mohamed Bamba.
The Blue Devils might need more reinforcements depending on who else elects to leave Durham. Guards Luke Kennard and Grayson Allen will also have to decide whether or not to jump to the NBA in the coming weeks.