Duke freshman RJ Barrett to leave school, enter NBA Draft

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RJ Barrett of Duke Blue Devils shoots a jumper against Florida State. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

DURHAM, NC (GoDuke.com) – Duke freshman forward RJ Barrett has announced that he will enter his name in the 2019 NBA Draft.

A first-team All-ACC selection, a consensus first-team All-American, and the USA Today National Player of the Year, Barrett was tied for the ACC lead in scoring with classmate Zion Williamson at 22.6 points per game. He broke both the Duke and ACC freshman scoring records with 860 points, and finished with the second most points by a Duke player in a single season, trailing only the 941 points by J.J. Redick in his 2006 senior campaign.

“From start to finish, RJ was there every second,” said head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “He played the most minutes, broke scoring records and was consistently excellent. He became one of our best defensive rebounders, and was close to triple-doubles quite a bit because of his scoring, rebounding and assists. Having reclassified to come to Duke early, he’s just so advanced for this stage of his career. He comes from an incredible family, he’s a winner in every sense, and it was so special to have RJ in our program.”

RJ Barrett of the Duke Blue Devils. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Barrett was the only Blue Devil to start all 38 games, leading the team to a 32-6 record, the final AP No. 1 ranking, an ACC Championship and the Elite Eight. The freshman averaged 7.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and recorded just the program’s fourth triple double with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against NC State on Feb. 16.

“I want to thank the Duke fans for their love and support all season,” said Barrett. “It was amazing to play for Coach K, and have such a special season that included an ACC Championship. It was always a dream of mine to play for Duke, and it’s also a dream of mine to play in the NBA and have great success there. After discussing with my family and coaches, I have decided to declare for the 2019 NBA Draft. I want to thank the Crazies and the entire Duke community for everything you’ve given to me. I’ll always be a part of the Brotherhood and I hold that very near and dear to my heart.”

Barrett was the only major conference player to score 13 or more points in every game he played. He and Williamson became the first freshman teammates in NCAA history to each average 20 points in a season. His 402 points in home games broke the Cameron Indoor Stadium single-season record.

RJ Barrett. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The Blue Devils have had at least one player selected in 31 of 38 NBA Drafts under Krzyzewski. Coach K has tutored a total of 61 draft picks since taking over the Duke program, including a draft-record 38 first-round selections.

Duke has produced 18 first-round picks in the last 10 seasons, including at least one in each of the last eight years. Thirteen of Duke’s last 15 picks, and 20 of the last 25, have come in the first round, including 13 lottery picks.

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