As November nears, it is becoming apparent that basketball season is on the horizon. That means that it is time for our player previews of every member of Duke men's basketball. Next up is freshman Trevor Keels. Read the previous previews here: Stanley Borden, Spencer Hubbard, Keenan Worthington, Michael Savarino, Bates Jones, Jaylen Blakes, Theo John, AJ Griffin and Joey Baker.
Last year’s statline: N/A
Game breakdown: As a consensus five-star recruit, Trevor Keels’ addition to Duke men's basketball further establishes the team as a force to be reckoned with. Keels joins sophomore guard and projected starter Jeremy Roach as the second player on this year’s roster hailing from St. Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Va., where Keels became the No. 3 shooting guard in his recruiting class.
Though he is yet to play at Duke, Keels’ first-class senior season previews some exciting numbers this season. Averaging 28.7 points and 7.2 assists in his last year at the high school level, Keels brings a menacing offensive game to the Blue Devils. Defensively, his size and basketball IQ helped him to average 9.1 rebounds and 3.8 steals. His senior season stats are comparable to Roach’s at St. Paul VI, who averaged 19.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.9 steals per match. Roach’s impressive first season at Duke earned him a spot on the preseason watch list for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, and fans should expect Keels to reach similar heights to his high school teammate.
Role on the team: With seemingly countless offers from programs such as Virginia, Villanova, Kansas and Kentucky, Keels was a tough recruit to grab. Just three games into his high school career, he had already racked up his first college offer from Wake Forest. Acknowledging Keels' background in the sport and his recruitment process, he will undoubtedly see a considerable amount of action this season.
Keels will be crucial in the quest for the program's sixth national championship, but the question has been whether the freshman guard would be joining the starting lineup. With headliners like freshmen Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin along with several returners, Keels needed to make a case to replace a player with past Blue Devil experience to earn a spot in the starting five. However, Griffin's recent knee sprain opens things up for the time being, meaning that Keels will likely join the starting rotation.
NBA comparison: Keels is a solid match for former Duke star and current Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Grayson Allen, who checks in at a similar size and stature to Keels. In terms of playing style, both players share the ability to score from all three levels of the court, which Allen demonstrated in Duke's victory in the 2015 NCAA championship game. By putting up averages of 10.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 2.2 APG last season for Memphis, Allen has made a name for himself outside of Duke basketball, and we project Keels to register similar stats this season.
Projected stats: 9.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.2 APG, 26 MPG
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