DURHAM, N.C. – Duke freshman forward Wendell Carter, Jr. has announced that he will enter his name in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Carter is the fourth freshman this season, and the program’s 16th freshman overall, to declare for the NBA Draft. He joins a group that includes Corey Maggette (1999), Luol Deng (2004), Kyrie Irving (2011), Austin Rivers (2012), Jabari Parker (2014), Tyus Jones (2015), Jahlil Okafor (2015), Justise Winslow (2015), Brandon Ingram (2016), Jayson Tatum (2017), Harry Giles (2017), Frank Jackson (2017), and teammates Marvin Bagley III (2018), Trevon Duval (2018) and Gary Trent, Jr. (2018).
“It was such an honor to coach Wendell,” said head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “He and his family were a true joy to have in our program and they’ll always be in our program. He had a sensational freshman year – a double-double guy – and he has so much more potential. He’s going to keep getting better, because he’s talented and he has the best attitude. He really represented himself, his family and Duke in a first-class manner, and whoever gets him is going to be very lucky."
A second-team All-ACC selection and an NABC All-District pick, Carter finished his freshman season second on the team in rebounding at 9.1 per game. His 335 boards ranked second all-time among Duke freshmen, as did his 76 blocked shots and 16 double-doubles. Carter scored in double-figures in 30 of 37 games and had multiple blocks in 21 games.
“I want to thank Duke University, my coaches and teammates for helping me so much, not only on the court, but off it as well,” said Carter. We’re all brothers, we all have each other’s’ backs. I’m really going to miss being around my friends, but I’m really going to cherish the moments we had together. I’m very excited and very happy to say I was part of something special here at Duke."
Carter, who was fourth in the ACC in rebounding (9.1) and 22nd in scoring (13.5), got better as the season progressed. After averaging 12.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks over the first 12 games, Carter increased his averages to 14.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks over the final 25 contests. He pulled down 15 rebounds on three different occasions and broke 20 points four times.
Duke has produced at least one first-round NBA Draft pick in each of the last seven years. Coach K has mentored 35 first-round picks, including a draft-record 23 lottery selections. The Blue Devils matched a school record with four draft selections last season, including three first-rounds and two lottery picks.