Back again in November, Duke guard Trevor Keels scored 25 factors when the Blue Devils defeat Kentucky in the Champions Typical at Madison Sq. Garden.
Taking part in alongside eventual No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero, the 6-foot-5 Keels was the largest shock of the evening as he dominated his defenders by using his Ron Dayne-like body to get to the basket a 10-of-18 capturing night.
“This child right in this article is heading to be a excellent player,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said that evening. “Trevor is likely to be a wonderful participant, he weighs 230 lbs . and if he was a working again he would know how to decide on holes. He receives fouled, he does not charge really substantially for the reason that he’s so minimal and has great physique command. For three straight yrs, he was in all probability the ideal player in the DC area.”
7 months soon after that video game, the Knicks drafted Keels with the No. 42 choose in the NBA Draft and are bringing him back again to the Garden. The Kentucky video game was arguably his most effective overall performance of the season, as he completed with averages of 11.5 factors, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 helps though taking pictures 42% from the area and 31% from deep.
1 scouting company mentioned of Keels: “He’s a wonderful defender when engaged, a great secondary playmaker, can engage in out of ball-screens, and has actual shooting upside. He has a NBA completely ready human body and is just one of the youngest prospective customers in the total draft.”
“In 3, 4 decades, you can have a player who with his overall body form, he receives in good affliction, improve in people spots, you have acquired a genuinely excellent player by the time he’s 22 decades old,” Duke assistant Chris Carrawell reported lately.
Keels is the fifth Blue Satan chosen by the Knicks, joining Ronnie Mayer (in 1956), Art Heyman 1st general in 1963), Vince Taylor (34th general) in 1982 and RJ Barrett (3rd over-all) in 2019.
The shift was overshadowed by a flurry of Knicks moves that saw them trade the No. 11 decide to the Oklahoma City Thunder and also deal Kemba Walker to the Detroit Pistons with 4 next-spherical picks to get hold of three long run very first-round picks.
The Knicks freed up about $20 million in cap space and now have 8 initially-round picks to use to go immediately after a person like Jalen Brunson or Kyrie Irving, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst documented on “Get Up.”
Keels went right up until eventually the deadline on regardless of whether to return to Duke for his sophomore season to increase his stock to a probable initially-round select or occur out this calendar year.
“Really torn, he was torn, gentleman,” Carrawell said. “When these men make the selection, I just consider to help them. Of course, we want you back again, I just one hundred % mentioned that a lot of situations, like we want you back, but the moment they make the selection to take a look at, I’m just one hundred p.c in help.”
Keels was a star player at Paul VI in Chantilly, Va, and gained a state championship with Brandon Slater (Villanova) and Jeremy Roach (Duke). The trio reunited at the Last 4 this spring, exactly where North Carolina defeat Duke in the national semifinal just before dropping to Kansas in the championship sport.
On a single of Krzyzewski’s visits to see Roach, head coach Glenn Farello called Keels into his place of work so the young player could meet the Corridor of Fame coach. Farello realized Duke was Keels’s desire university.
“He walked in and he was huge-eyed,” Farello recalled. “And as he walked out, I turned to Mentor K and I said, ‘I just desired to make certain you knew who he was, for the reason that at some issue, I consider you may possibly want to circle again with this one particular.’ And guaranteed more than enough, they did.”
Keels ultimately fully commited to Duke in April 2021 and joined a class that involved the 6-9 Banchero, who became Duke’s fifth No. 1 total select when he was decided on by the Orlando Magic, and 6-6 guard A.J. Griffin, the N.Y. native who went No. 16 to the Atlanta Hawks.
All told, 5 Duke players ended up selected, which include very first-rounders Mark Williams (No. 15 to Charlotte) and Wendell Moore Jr. (No. 26 to the Mavericks).