Duke men's basketball captain Jeremy Roach declares for 2023 NBA Draft, maintains collegiate eligibility

<p>Duke captain Jeremy Roach looks to the crowd during Duke's on-court celebration of its ACC title.</p>

Duke captain Jeremy Roach looks to the crowd during Duke's on-court celebration of its ACC title.

Ever since their season drew to a close in March, the Blue Devils’ star freshmen have made their future plans known. On Monday morning, their captain followed suit.

Junior guard Jeremy Roach will declare for the 2023 NBA Draft while maintaining his collegiate eligibility, he announced Monday morning via social media. The decision gives Roach the chance to test the professional waters but also leaves the door open for a potential return for a fourth season in Durham.

"Since the season ended, I’ve had some real conversations with my family and coaches, and a done a lot of thinking about my future," Roach said in his announcement. "At this time, we feel it is in my best interest to declare for the NBA Draft, while maintaining my college eligibility. I look forward to gaining valuable feedback and experience in the pre-draft process."

Roach becomes the third Blue Devil from this past season to declare for the NBA draft, joining freshman teammates Dariq Whitehead and Dereck Lively II. He has until the May 31 deadline to withdraw from the draft if he is to be eligible for another season at the collegiate level.

A preseason All-ACC First Team selection this past season, Roach battled a lingering toe injury from November to January before finishing the season strong, earning an All-ACC Honorable Mention. He thrived in an off-ball role alongside freshman guard Tyrese Proctor, posting a career-high 13.6 points in a team-leading 33.1 minutes per contest.

As he did in his sophomore campaign, Roach saved his best performances for March. The Leesburg, Va., native posted a career-high 23 points — 19 in the second half — to lead the Blue Devils past Virginia in the ACC tournament final, then matched that figure against Oral Roberts in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

"I'm so proud of Jeremy and everything that he's accomplished so far as a Blue Devil," said head coach Jon Scheyer in a team release Monday afternoon. "We fully support him and his family as he makes the decision to declare for the NBA Draft. He's seen just about as much as you could see at Duke from the challenging COVID year, to the special Final Four run and an ACC Championship this season. He's everything Duke could ask for in terms of a representative for our program."

As the lone returning starter from Duke’s 2022 Final Four team, with which he earned NCAA West Region All-Tournament Team honors, Roach became the first solo captain for the Blue Devils since 2018 and the program’s seventh since head coach Mike Krzyzewski took over in 1980. 

Roach’s decision mirrors that of former Duke and St. Paul VI teammate Trevor Keels, who declared for the NBA draft in April 2022 while maintaining his college eligibility. Keels ultimately elected to stay the course and was selected 42nd overall by the New York Knicks.

Should Roach elect to return to Durham for his senior year, he will join a talented backcourt featuring Proctor, incoming five-star freshmen Caleb Foster and Jared McCain and rising junior Jaylen Blakes.

Of Duke’s top eight players by minutes per game, only one decision remains — that of Kyle Filipowski, the reigning ACC Rookie of the Year and the Blue Devils’ leader in points, rebounds and steals in 2022-23. With Roach taking the first step on his way to a professional career, Filipowski’s looming decision takes on added importance for Scheyer and the nation’s second-ranked incoming recruiting class.

This article was updated after a team release Monday afternoon to include Scheyer's comment.

Jonathan Levitan

Jonathan Levitan is a Trinity senior and was previously sports editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.


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