DURHAM, N.C.—Duke University senior midfielder Myles Jones was selected by expansion team Atlanta Blaze as the No. 1 overall pick of the 2016 Major League Lacrosse Draft this afternoon at the Baltimore Convention Center. Jones is the second Blue Devil to be picked first in the MLL draft and is the first choice for the Blaze in its inaugural season.
Jones joins Tewaaraton Award winner Ned Crotty as the two Blue Devils to picked No. 1. Crotty was the top pick in the 2010 draft after leading Duke to its first NCAA title.
Joining Jones with the Blaze as the No. 10 overall pick is Duke midfielder Deemer Class. The dynamic duo has combined for countless goals in their three seasons with the Blue Devils. Senior attackman Case Matheis was the third Blue Devil drafted, going to the Blaze as well as the No. 53 overall pick.
Class and Jones headlined the Blue Devils’ preseason All-America picks as first-team midfielders. Jones also was voted the Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Player of the Year. The dynamic duo of Class and Jones has combined for 299 points from 177 goals and 122 assists during their careers. They are on pace to become the first two midfielders in history to record 100 career goals apiece.
Jones, the 2015 Lt. j.g. Donald MacLaughlin Jr. Award winner, is coming off of a record-breaking season of 40 goals and 37 assists for 77 points. His 77 points in 2015 and 161 career points overall are tops all-time among Duke midfielders and he is on pace to become just the 11th Blue Devil to reach the 200-point benchmark. A two-time All-American, he led all midfielders a year ago in points and is one of two Duke midfielders to score 40 goals in a season.
A two-time All-American, Class registered 34 goals and 19 assists for 53 points his junior season. He has run on Duke’s top midfield line the previous two seasons and has 138 career points. He ranks 28th on the Duke career points list and is on pace with Jones to become the second Duke midfielder in program history to reach 100 career goals. In 2014, Class tallied at least one point in all 18 games and scored a hat trick in six games.
Matheis, a three-year starter on Duke’s attack, owns 133 career points with 71 goals and 62 assists. He battled early season injuries in 2014 before finishing with 20 goals and 19 assists for 39 points. He is one of 45 players to amass 100 career points in Duke lacrosse history and currently ranks 31st on the Duke career points chart. He has played in 55 games with 47 starting assignments and has at least one point in 48 of those contests.
Duke opens the season Feb. 12 against High Point at Koskinen Stadium. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m.