Moore becomes 3rd Duke player to enter draft

Wendell Moore Jr. is the third Duke player this week to announce plans to enter the NBA draft.

The school revealed Moore’s decision Thursday night, saying he would hire an agent. The 6-foot-5 and 213-pound junior and potential first-round pick won the Julius Erving Award as college basketball’s top small forward this season.

Ranked as the No. 35 overall pick in the latest mock draft by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, Moore showed versatile athleticism that let him play on the ball or as a slasher while routinely taking on top defensive assignments.

“What an incredible journey this has been! Long before I stepped on campus in the summer of 2018, I knew that Duke was home,” Moore wrote on his Instagram account. “This program, this school, my teammates, coaches, and you the fans, have meant so much to me and my family. Together, we have produced memories and experiences that will last forever.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ccoh3d9L4uA/

Moore follows 7-foot-1 sophomore Mark Williams and 6-10 star freshman Paolo Banchero into the draft.

In a statement from the school, now-retired Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski said he “could not be more proud of the player and person that Wendell has become.”

“He is everything that is good about our game of college basketball,” Krzyzewski said. “To see him grow and improve over these last few years has been special and I’m so happy for Wendell and his family to have this moment.”

Moore averaged career highs of 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists. The team captain also improved his outside shot, shooting 41.3% from behind the arc after shooting 28.3% through his first two seasons. He shot 50% from the field overall.

Moore started all 39 games to help the Blue Devils reach Krzyzewski’s record 13th Final Four while also winning the program’s first outright Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title since 2006.

Prior to this season, Moore — a high school recruit out of Charlotte — etched his name into the lore of the Duke-UNC rivalry as a freshman when he scored on a putback of an airballed jumper as time expired in Duke’s wild overtime victory in February 2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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