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Duke guard Gary Trent Jr. declares for NBA Draft

<p>Gary Trent Jr. shot better than 40 percent from 3-point range this year.</p>

Gary Trent Jr. shot better than 40 percent from 3-point range this year.

Duke will have to replace its entire starting backcourt next season.

Freshman Gary Trent Jr. declared for the NBA Draft Saturday morning, becoming the third Blue Devil starter to leave Durham after just one year and Duke's 13th one-and-done since 2011. The program announced the news in a tweet.

It was not made clear in the team's announcement whether Trent is hiring an agent, but head coach Mike Krzyzewski suggested he is not expecting him back.

"Gary was the best 3-point shooter in the ACC. At the NBA level, that's what they're looking for," head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. "He has the size of a two-guard who will be able to fit in the NBA. We appreciate everything Gary brought to Duke basketball and wish him the best as he begins his journey in professional basketball."

Trent also made a video announcing the news on his Twitter account.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity that Duke basketball gave to me, and a special thanks to Coach K for bringing me in with open arms," Trent said. "These memories will last a lifetime. It has been a dream of mine, since I was a little kid, to play for Duke University and for Coach K. Now I'll set out to achieve another dream of mine and play in the NBA."

Trent was a top-10 overall recruit and the No. 1 shooting guard in his class, and he developed into a dependable scorer for the Blue Devils. The Apple Valley, Minn., native started all 37 games, averaging 14.5 points per contest and shooting better than 40 percent from beyond the arc.

Trent was arguably Duke's most clutch player in crunch time this season, making key plays in the final minute of the Blue Devils' comeback wins against Texas and Florida at the PK80 Invitational in November and spearheading another rally at Miami in January with a career-high 30 points.

Although Trent cooled off from long distance in the last month of the season, he scored Duke's last four points to help hold off Syracuse in the Sweet 16 and made a deep triple to give the Blue Devils a lead that would not last late in their Elite Eight matchup against Kansas.

Trent is not a clear-cut first-round pick, but some draft boards have him sneaking into the top 30. His ability to stretch the floor with his shooting and his size at 6-foot-6 should translate well to the NBA, but Trent was often responsible for man-to-man defensive breakdowns before Duke made the switch in February to exclusively play zone.

Now the Blue Devils are still waiting to hear whether Wendell Carter Jr. will stay or go pro as an almost assured lottery pick.


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