Duke’s entire starting five from the team that went 29-8 and reached the NCAA tournament’s final eight are entered in this year’s NBA Draft pool.
Marvin Bagley and Wendell Carter are projected as lottery picks and Gary Trent, Jr, a late first-round pick. Grayson Allen, the lone non-freshman of the five, could go late in the first round or in the second round. The same with Trevon Duval.
Duke assistant coach Jon Scheyer knows their games and their personalities better than nearly anyone. He was involved with their recruitment and coached them throughout their Duke careers.
Here’s what Scheyer had to say about each of the Duke prospects prior to Thursday’s NBA Draft:
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On 6-3 guard Grayson Allen, his controversies and his abilities…..
“It’s funny I haven’t gotten one question about that (tripping) incident or about what he went through his junior year. With Grayson, just his shooting ability. He went through some stretches this season where he didn’t shoot it as well. I don’t know that there’s a better shooter in the draft. We feel like he’s the best shooter in the draft. Him and Gary. People have been really happy about him. He’s shot the ball well in workouts.”
On 6-11 center Wendell Carter
“Wendell was incredible for us this year. I think he’s the perfect modern day 5 in the NBA when you look at it. When you think about him offensively, he can stretch the floor to the 3-point line. He’s a very good shooter with time. I think that will get better but he can already do that. He’s smart. He can pass. He can make reads. And of course he’s got moves in the post. But when you look at the spacing teams are looking for, he provides that.
On defense, he defensive player of the year for our team. Really was incredible protecting our basket, protecting our rim and is a big-time rebounder.
The things he has to work on? He gets down on himself. He’s too hard on himself sometimes. If a couple of plays don’t go his way, he expects more of himself. Something we talk about is next play. I think that’s something for him to work on because you are not going to make every shot and be perfect. He wants to do everything the right way. Loved working with him. I think he is going to be a special player.”
On 6-11 forward Marvin Bagley, his overall game and defense
“No one had a better college season than he did. He was terrific. I think when you have a guy who has done as much as he has done, people like to poke holes in his game. When you average 21 and 11 and he was dominant on a nightly basis, I think there is no one better in the draft than him. As good as he is now, I think his future is only brighter. He’s gonna get better and better. There’s no one better than him in this draft.”
“He had guarded center his entire life. That’s what he had done. Defending on the perimeter is just something he hadn’t done. So being able to switch ball screens, defend ball screens, that was all new to him. I thought he picked it up really well. With the way we played the zone, we played it differently. He had to be out on the perimeter a lot. That’s where he was. He wasn’t inside. So moving his feet, staying in front of guys. I thought he got better with it. His understanding of playing defense really improved throughout the year as well. I think that way all new to him. But he picked it up relatively quickly.”
On guard Trevon Duval’s shooting
“I think with Trevon it was a work in progress. If you guys were to see him in practice, there were times when he was in a workout and he was shooting the ball well. It’s just the consistency of doing it every day. I think when he’s at that level, that’s your only job. I think it’s going to improve a lot. The main thing for him is to just gain confidence in it and believe in it. His whole life, when you are able to get by everybody and get to the rim, you are not always focused on your shooting and having to make shots at a high percentage. I do think he’s going to be able to do that and add into the rest of his game.”
On Gary Trent’s overall game
“He’s been waiting for this opportunity. This is really nothing new. He’s been around NBA teams for a long time, ever since he was young. I think people like his maturity and his approach to the game. With him and Grayson, we feel we have the two best shooters in the draft. That is a huge weapon for him. Teams like his size. So Gary’s in a good spot.”