Duke men's basketball center Kyle Filipowski declares for 2024 NBA Draft

Sophomore center Kyle Filipowski goes up for the windmill dunk in Duke's March 2 win against Virginia.
Sophomore center Kyle Filipowski goes up for the windmill dunk in Duke's March 2 win against Virginia.

After two years in Durham, it’s Flip’s turn for the professional spotlight.

Following a strong sophomore season in a Blue Devil uniform, center Kyle Filipowski announced Friday afternoon via social media that he will forgo his remaining eligibility and declare for the NBA Draft. Filipowski's announcement comes just hours after freshman teammate Jared McCain's.

"After careful consideration and consultation with the people closest to me, I have decided to declare for the NBA Draft," Filipowski said. "This has been a lifelong dream of mine, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to pursue it."

Coming in as the No. 4 recruit out of the 2022 class, Filipowski exceeded expectations with a monster freshman campaign. Breaking records from the minute he stepped on the court, he was the first rookie in program history to record a double-double through the first three games of his career. The Westtown, N.Y., native continued to go on a tear, scoring in double-figures through the first 12 contests of the season. His efforts earned him ACC Rookie of the Week for the first four weeks of the season, the first player in conference history to do so. 

Averaging 15.1 points and 8.9 rebounds over the course of the 2022-23 campaign, Filipowski was the go-to guy in big games. He led Duke with 28 points and 15 rebounds in a comeback victory against Pittsburgh while also blocking three shots and making the crucial go-ahead free throws in a road game against Boston College to secure important conference victories. The Wilbraham and Monson product went on to average 19.7 points on his way to an ACC tournament title and ACC tournament MVP accolades. 

By the end of the season, Filipowski boasted a slew of impressive honors. After nine ACC Rookie of the Week nods, he earned the conference Rookie of the Year title along with second-team All-ACC and ACC All-Freshman Honors. His greatest award, however, were the Kyle Macy National Freshman of the Year and AP All-America honorable mention honors. It seemed as if the phenom was ready for the typical one-and-done collegiate career.

Yet No. 30 decided to stay for another year. After an offseason hip surgery made him good as new, Filipowski took his game to new heights as a sophomore. This time around, the college basketball world was ready to take in his talent as he received ACC Preseason Player of the Year and AP Preseason All-America nods. Averaging 16.4 points and 8.3 rebounds, his seasoned veteran status allowed him to be a reliable centerpiece of the Blue Devils’ game plan. He showed up in big moments all year long, once again having a standout performance against the Panthers on their home turf with 11-of-12 shooting and 26 points. Filipowski furthered his greatness with a team-high 23 points against North Carolina in the final regular-season contest. 

His efforts earned him numerous accolades once more, including National Player of the Week and ACC Player of the Week. The honors kept rolling in with the postseason as the sophomore center tallied All-ACC First Team and AP All-America Second Team awards. Filipowski lived up to the attention in the postseason as well, tallying an impressive 12 rebounds and four assists against Vermont in the first round of the NCAA tournament before putting up 16 points to lead his team in an upset of No. 1-seed Houston. Despite Duke’s exit after a loss to No. 11-seed N.C. State in the Elite Eight, Filipowski was tabbed to the South Regional All-Tournament team. Even with the sadness of returning home and another season gone by without a national title, the sophomore center was a large part of the program’s success.

"While I may no longer call Durham home, know that I will always carry this community with me," Filipowski said. "To Cameron, to the Crazies, to my coaches, to The Brotherhood, I hope to make you all proud." 

Filipowski is currently projected as a first-round pick and is the second Blue Devil to declare. While not likely to start right away, he will be expected to provide instant offense off the bench as a stretch four. He will probably play more on the perimeter and handle the ball in space more than he did at Duke, where he got a lot of post touches.

Mackenzie Sheehy profile
Mackenzie Sheehy | Blue Zone editor

Mackenzie Sheehy is a Trinity sophomore and Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.


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