With Duke’s season officially in the books, the Blue Zone breaks down each player's season, including comparisons to their preseason projections. We previously looked at Jaylen Blakes, Bates Jones, Joey Baker and Theo John. Next up is Trevor Keels:
- Year: Freshman
- Height: 6-foot-5
- Position: Guard
- This year’s stat line: 11.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.7 APG, 30.2 MPG
- The Blue Zone's projected stat line: 9.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.2 APG, 26 MPG
Season breakdown: Keels reunited with former high school teammate Jeremy Roach at Duke. Both players attended St. Paul VI, where Keels averaged 28.7 points per game and 7.2 assists in his senior sesaon. There were high expectations for Keels as he joined the program as the No. 3 shooting guard in his recruiting class. This season, Keels averaged the third-most points on his team, averaging 11.5 points per game. He made great contributions in the season opener against Kentucky, in which he shot 10-of-18 from the field and finished with 25 points. He remained a consistent shooter throughout the season and had two other dominant performances against Clemson and Pittsburgh. Against the Tigers, Keels shot 9-of-13 and finished again with 25 points. He had a career-high of 27 points in Duke's road win against Pittsburgh.
In the postseason, Keels’ performance saw both ends of the spectrum. In Duke's Elite Eight matchup against Texas Tech, he was on the court for 14 minutes but shot 0-of-3 from the field and 0-of-2 from 3-point range. However, in the big rivalry Final Four matchup against North Carolina, Keels made sure to step up in a hard-fought game that resulted in the end of Duke’s run. Keels finished the night with 19 points.
Results relative to expectations: Although Keels came to Duke after an impressive high school career and had proven his ability on the court, the question was whether he would find a role as a consistent starter for the Blue Devils. Freshman forward AJ Griffin suffered a knee sprain during a preseason practice and as he was eased into the season, Keels was able to step up as a starter and seize the moment by displaying his abilities early on.
Compared to the Blue Zone's predictions, Keels ended the season exceeding all expectations. Although he wasn’t as big of a scorer for the Blue Devils as freshman forward Paolo Banchero, he added depth to the shooting rotation and contributed as one of the core members of the team alongside Wendell Moore Jr., Mark Williams and Griffin. Outside of his contributions on offense, he also showed defensive strength throughout the season.
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