R.J. Barrett becomes first Duke Blue Devil to announce NBA draft plans

R.J. Barrett becomes first Duke Blue Devil to announce NBA draft plans

R.J. Barrett helped lead the Duke Blue Devils to a (32-6) record. Now, he is taking his talent to the 2019 NBA draft. On Wednesday, Barrett announced he is leaving the Blue Devils after one phenomenal season.

The Blue Devils won the ACC tournament title and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. However, they fell one game short of the Final Four when Barrett missed a potential game-tying foul shot.

Nonetheless, Barrett led the Blue Devils in scoring along with Zion Williamson. He scored 22.6 points per game on 45.4 percent shooting. He also produced 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. He finished in second place in each category for the Blue Devils. Yet and still, Barrett did so much more for what many considered the favorites in college basketball.

Barrett was the only player to start every game for Duke. Cam Reddish and Tre Jones missed two games apiece. Zion Williamson missed five games after his shoe exploded in the opening seconds of the North Carolina game. As a result, Barrett was counted on to deliver every game. Despite a few detractors, he really did come through.

He was accused of shooting too much in losses to Gonzaga and Michigan State. Meaning, Barrett didn’t make the last play to win the game. He led the Blue Devils with 18.5 shot attempts per game. As a player that performed at the point guard position, Barrett did it all for the Blue Devils. Yet, he was overshadowed by Williamson.

Therefore, the preseason favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft is now at No. 3 behind Williamson and Ja Morant. Keep in mind, Williamson has yet to declare for the draft, but it should be coming soon.

Barrett projects to be a point guard at the NBA level potentially. However, he really stands out as a wing player. He gets to the hole very well. Although Barrett only shot slightly better than 30 percent from 3-point range, he should become one of the best shooters in the NBA in the next few years.

Barrett scored at least 30 points six times during his freshman season. He scored at least 15 points in 36 games and never scored below 13 points in any contest for the Blue Devils. His consistency was off the charts and somebody is going to get a star in the upcoming draft.

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