Another year, another Blue Devil big headed to the league.
Vernon Carey Jr. was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 32nd overall pick in the NBA Draft Wednesday night. He's the first Duke player selected in the 2020 draft, marking the first time since 2010 that the Blue Devils did not have a player selected in the first round.
Prior to Carey, a National Freshman of the Year one-and-done had never slipped past the eighth overall pick.
Joining Duke as the No. 6 recruit in the nation, Carey received high expectations before he ever touched the court. It didn’t take long for him to adjust to the massive stage of Duke basketball, though, notching three consecutive 20-point double-doubles as the Blue Devils won the 2K Empire Classic in November. From then on, he was the rock that Duke’s success would be built on.
While Carey proved to be a dominant collegiate player almost immediately, it isn’t a certainty whether his transition to the NBA will be as seamless. The consensus All-American will be posting up against much bigger bodies and playing at a faster pace. However, as the NBA continues to move away from big men and emphasize shooting, Carey won’t be completely left in the dust—he shot 38.1 percent from beyond the arc at Duke, albeit on only 21 attempts. If he can keep close to that percentage on higher usage, he’ll provide plenty of value stretching the floor.
The draft couldn’t have come soon enough for Carey. His stock seemed to fluctuate by the day, with some even listing him as undrafted. Nevertheless, the Hornets decided to take a chance on him, and Carey will try and make the most of it.