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Randolph declares eligibility for draft

The biggest question mark surrounding the Blue Devils at the start of this off-season was whether junior Shelden Williams would leave school early for the NBA.

No one expected his low-post teammate to be the one to make the jump. But last Friday, Shavlik Randolph made himself eligible for the NBA draft, which will be held June 28 in New York City.

Kenny Randolph, the junior’s father, has repeatedly suggested, however, that the Raleigh native has not played his final game in a Blue Devil uniform.

“Nobody’s saying he’s not coming back to Duke,” Kenny Randolph told the Associated Press. “He’s very happy at Duke University. He’s very honored to be part of the program.”

The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 4.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest this past season, but was playing at less than 100 percent for much of the season as he battled with mononucleosis.

Nevertheless it was his least productive season offensively as a Blue Devil. Randolph averaged 7.4 and 7.0 points per contest in his freshman and sophomore seasons, respectively.

Although Randolph started every game in the ACC and NCAA tournaments, there was speculation about how much playing time he would receive next season with the addition of freshman forward Josh McRoberts and center Eric Boateng.

In a statement issued by the Athletic Department, head coach Mike Krzyzewski said he “supported Shavlik 100 percent.”

Randolph has not hired an agent, and his father said he has no intentions of doing so at this time. Underclassmen have until June 21 to withdraw from the draft and retain their college eligibility.

With 63 other underclassmen declaring for the draft, Randolph will have the opportunity to gauge how he stacks up against NBA-caliber competition.

“Instead of working as a counselor at the Nike and Michael Jordan basketball camps, he’ll be spending his summer working out for teams,” Kenny Randolph told the Raleigh News and Observer. “What better way to gauge your progress than actually having NBA general managers telling you. He’s going to hear some positives, and he’ll hear a lot of negatives.”


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