Keel Mode, welcome to the NBA.
After much speculation about his draft position and potential, the New York Knicks have selected Trevor Keels with the 42nd overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft after one year in Durham.
Keels started his freshman campaign strong, putting up 25 points against Kentucky in the season opener, tying for third-most by a Duke freshman in their debut. He continued to show flashes of that same game-altering play, scoring 25 and 27 against Clemson and Pittsburgh, respectively. However, a lower leg injury that he suffered against Florida State in January sidelined him for just under two weeks and knocked him out of the starting lineup for two more weeks. In the NCAA tournament, the Clinton, Md., native once again found himself coming in off the bench, though he did score 19 in Duke’s Final Four loss to North Carolina. That play helped Keels secure a spot on the ACC All-Freshman Team alongside teammates Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin.
Even after Keels' declaration in late April, it was unclear whether he would see the process through. His draft stock was uncertain, and the prospect of another year at Duke, this time under head coach Jon Scheyer, seemed to be a possibility. Instead, the 18-year-old chose to remain in the running, and he will now have the chance to prove his doubters wrong with the Knicks.
Keels is the fifth and final Blue Devil to be selected in Thursday's draft after former teammates Banchero, Mark Williams, Griffin and Wendell Moore Jr. It marks the first time in program history that Duke has had five players selected in a single draft.
READ MORE on Keels' path to New York:
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Rachael Kaplan is a Trinity junior and sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.