Duke to NBA flow continues as Cam Reddish declares

Zion Williamson tries to cheer up injured Cam Reddish

Zion Williamson gave Cam Reddish a talk to lift his spirits. Reddish was held out of the lineup with a knee injury.
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Zion Williamson gave Cam Reddish a talk to lift his spirits. Reddish was held out of the lineup with a knee injury.

Another of Duke’s freshmen starters is heading to the NBA.

Projected as a top-10 pick, 6-8 forward Cam Reddish announced Thursday he’s giving up his final three seasons of college eligibility to turn professional.

Reddish already hired an agent as he prepares for the NBA Draft.

“This season was epic, and I am so thankful to have had Duke as a part of the foundation that prepared me to play at the next level,” Reddish wrote on his Instragram account. “Never forget – I am a Blue Devil for life. Proud to announce that I will be entering the 2019 NBA Draft. “

His announcement comes one day after all-American forward RJ Barrett announced he was leaving Duke after one season. A third Duke freshman, projected No.1 pick Zion Williamson, has yet to announce his plans but is preparing to enter the NBA as well.

“We were honored to have Cam and his family be a part of our program,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “He had an excellent freshman year that was interrupted at different times with nagging injuries. I admired the way he responded and helped us. He has an amazing future ahead of him as a player. We are proud that he was part of a truly spectacular year.”

Williamson and Barrett were named consensus all-Americans after they shared the ACC scoring title at 22.6 points per game. They, along with Reddish and freshman point guard Tre Jones, led Duke to a 32-6 season that included an ACC championship.

Reddish, however, endured an up-and-down season with the Blue Devils. He finished third on the team, behind Williamson and Barrett, with a 13.5 scoring average.

But Reddish did so while making just 35.6 percent of his field goals. He made 33 percent (89 of 267) his 3-pointers.

Reddish did emerge as reliable in clutch situations for Duke. His 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds left lifted the Blue Devils to a 70-68 win at Florida State on Jan. 12.

In the second half situations with the game tied or a one-possession score, Reddish hit 20 of 47 3-pointers (42.5 percent).

His 3-pointer with 1:43 left helped Duke rally from four points down in the final two minutes to beat Central Florida 77-76 in an NCAA tournament second-round game on March 24.

Cam Reddish gave credit to Coach Krzyzewski for giving his team the confidence to win close games.

Reddish finished the season with 96 turnovers and 70 assists, playing in 36 games with 35 starts.

The only game Reddish played in but didn’t start was the Michigan State game. Reddish complained of tendinitis in his left knee minutes before Duke’s NCAA tournament regional semifinal game with Virginia Tech on March 29. He didn’t play in Duke’s 75-73 win.

Though he didn’t start against Michigan State, Reddish played 37 minutes, making 2 of 8 shots while scoring eight points.

“That feeling of putting on the Duke uniform in indescribable,” Reddish said. “I’ll always be grateful to have been part of such a special season. I would like to thank the coaches for pushing me each day, my teammates for welcoming me into the Brotherhood and the Crazies for the support. “

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An Illinois native, Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. Prior to his arrival in Durham, he worked for newspapers in Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Biloxi, Miss., and Charlotte covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly.