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Trevon Duval recently declared for the NBA draft after just one season at Duke.

Take of the week: Trevon Duval should have stayed at Duke for another season



Every week, the Blue Zone will make a take on Duke basketball—whether that take may be hot, cold or lukewarm. This week's take is in from men's basketball beat writer Ben Leonard: 

Trevon Duval looked nothing like a first-rounder for most of the season—not even in the G-League Draft. 

The freshman point guard certainly stepped up his game at the end of the season, but looked lost for long stretches. Duval even lost his starting job despite being the only viable true point guard on the team. 

NBA teams value 3-point shooters highly, and Duval is nowhere near a good enough 3-point shooter to take anything but wide open triples in the pros. Another year under head coach Mike Krzyzewski could help him hone his shooting stroke—or perhaps learn how to play to his strength, driving in the lane. 

There's no doubt about it: Duval is an incredible athlete. He used it at times to exploit innocent defenders and burn them in the paint, finishing at the rim with a thunderous dunk. Exhibit A: against North Carolina. 


But this dunk also represented Duval's fatal flaw: his decision-making. Just minutes after losing to the Tar Heels, Duval retweeted this clip, drawing the ire of Blue Devil fans. 

Although there's no reason to say he makes truly bad decisions off the court besides this one, he made far too many of them this season to be an impact NBA player. Turnovers crippled Duval's game—and Duke's offense—nearly all season long. 

The game will be much faster at the next level, so Duval will need to make decisions even quicker than he did in college. He was able to pick apart small conference teams, but generally struggled against top-notch competition, especially in conference play. Especially when faced with stiff competition from Tre Jones, another year in Durham could help him beef up his decision-making, before being thrown to the wolves in the NBA—which could stunt his growth irrevocably. 

That's why Sports Illustrated projects him being selected near the end of the second round in this year's draft—far below his potential. 

It's painfully obvious: Duval isn't ready to take the next step. 


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