Another day, another departure for Duke’s basketball team.
But this one is a transfer.
Sophomore center Chase Jeter plans to continue his career at another school, Duke announced on Thursday.
The 6-10 Jeter played only 16 games this season as he dealt with ankle and back injuries.
The news comes one day after freshman forward Jayson Tatum announced he’s leaving for the NBA.
“Chase has been an outstanding young man in our program for the last two years,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement released by Duke. “He has been one of our top academic performers since he arrived on campus. Unfortunately, he was held back this season due to injury. We wish nothing but the absolute best for Chase and his family.”
A Las Vegas native, Jeter started six games early this season when freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden were out with leg injuries. When senior forward Amile Jefferson missed two games at Florida State and Louisville in January due to a foot injury, Jeter played 25 minutes against the Seminoles and 17 against the Cardinals.
Duke lost both games. On Jan. 23, Duke announced that Jeter had gone through a procedure to address a herniated disc. Although his health improved by the end of the season, he wasn’t a full participant in practice and he didn’t appear in a another game.
He averaged 2.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 14.9 minutes per appearance this season.
“I have loved my time at Duke, getting a world-class education and competing alongside my brothers every day,” Jeter said in a statement. “After careful consideration, I decided it would be best for me to transfer to a school closer to home. I’ve made long-lasting relationships here and I want to thank my teammates and coaches for the support they’ve given me over the last two years.”
Jeter played in 48 games for Duke, finishing his career with averages of 2.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per game.
His departure cuts into Duke’s projected depth in the post for next season. The Blue Devils were already losing 6-9 senior Amile Jefferson and potentially 6-10 freshman Harry Giles is strongly considering jumping to the NBA, where he’s projected as a first-round pick in this June’s draft.
Antonio Vrankovic, a 7-foot center, played in 13 games this season, averaging 7.8 minutes per appearance. He had small roles in three ACC games, one ACC tournament game and both of Duke’s NCAA tournament games.
Freshman center Marques Bolden, who’s 6-11 and 245 pounds, arrived at Duke last summer with one-and-done aspirations. He was projected as a first-round pick. But he missed Duke’s first eight games after suffering an unspecified left leg injury and never became a regular part of Duke’s rotation. He played in 24 games but averaged just 6.5 minutes per appearance.
If he returns and is healthy, he could be a key player inside next season.
Duke has already signed 6-10 power forward Wendell Carter, a five-star recruit from Atlanta who is rated as the No. 3 player in the 2017 class. The Blue Devils also have an offer out to 6-11 center Mohamed Bamba, a five-star recruit who is choosing between Duke and Kentucky.