Ahead of Coach K's final season, Duke men's basketball is bringing in several new players to Durham. In this series, we analyze film on each of the Blue Devils' new signees and transfers for the 2021-22 season. Previously, we took a look at Bates Jones, Theo John, Jaylen Blakes and AJ Griffin. Next up, we look at Trevor Keels.
When top-ranked Duke newcomer Paolo Banchero joined AJ Griffin as the lone two incoming freshmen back in August 2020, he took the fate of this year’s Blue Devil recruiting class into his own hands, unabashedly reaching out to fellow five-star prospects in hopes that they would ultimately join forces in Durham. One of those players—who credits both Banchero and Griffin for luring him to Duke—is five-star shooting guard Trevor Keels, and it isn’t hard to see why Duke’s first two signees wanted to share the court with him so badly in the first place.
Keels, a physically imposing shooting guard out of Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Va.—where he played alongside returning sophomore guard Jeremy Roach—could be the key to the Blue Devils' offense in 2021-22. At 6-foot-4 and 221 pounds, the 2021 McDonald’s All-American boasts a strong frame that doesn’t limit his athleticism and agility. He’s a natural scorer at every level, but where his game truly begins is with his driving and finishing. Look closely at how quickly and powerfully Keels is able to get downhill, and take note of the ferocity and grace with which he is able to finish at the bucket.
But Keels is much, much more than just a hard-nosed driver. He is undoubtedly great at the rim, yes, but this serves mainly to unlock the rest of his offensive arsenal, not to define his game entirely. He is an equally talented shooter, with a smooth stroke from beyond the arc, the fundamentals to pull up off the dribble or off the pass and the size to shoot over his defender whenever he deems fit. Perhaps most enticing, however, is how he moves: constantly moving and making himself available, Keels is far too quick to keep up with when he wants the ball beyond the arc. Watch how he dominates from deep in every one of these ways:
Even after that, there’s plenty more to the combo guard’s game: he is a strong passer, a fierce competitor and has the tools to become a lockdown defender. Keels is well-rounded, and he is already the type of player who makes his teammates better and that anybody would love to play alongside—tough, hard-working, talented, you name it. It’s no wonder Duke’s other top recruits wanted him to pick the Blue Devils, and it won’t be a surprise when he makes them and the team that much better in 2021-22.
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Jonathan Levitan is a Trinity junior and sports editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.