Any lingering doubt regarding Trevon Duval’s college destination essentially vanished last Friday when Duke’s Frank Jackson announced he was remaining in the NBA draft.
That cleared the way for Duval to become the Blue Devils’ unquestioned heir apparent at point guard.
Duval, the consensus top point guard in the 2017 class, announced on Monday morning that he has committed to Duke. The 6-foot-2 McDonald’s All-American chose the Blue Devils over a list of suitors that included Arizona, Kansas, Seton Hall and Baylor.
Five-star recruit Trevon Duval has made his college decision. pic.twitter.com/z14V88T2d3
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) May 15, 2017
An explosive athlete with the strength, quickness and body control to get wherever he wants on the floor, Duval excels making plays off the dribble and in the open court. His jump shot needs work and his decision making in half-court sets can be too erratic, but he is still the true point guard Duke has lacked since Tyus Jones blossomed into a surprising one-and-done prospect in 2015.
Duke would have loved to have rolled out a backcourt featuring Duval, Jackson and Grayson Allen next season, but realistically the Blue Devils were never going to have all three. Duval wasn’t going to pick a school where he wouldn’t start at point guard and Jackson would not have benefited from returning to school if he played mostly off ball.
With Duval, Allen, five-star wing Gary Trent Jr. and sharpshooter Jordan Tucker, Duke has more than enough perimeter talent to overcome Jackson’s departure. What may sting more was the loss of Kevin Knox, who somewhat unexpectedly chose Kentucky earlier this month over either Duke or North Carolina.
Had Knox picked Duke, he projected as Mike Krzyzewski’s next small-ball power forward in the mold of Justise Winslow, Brandon Ingram or Jayson Tatum. Now the Blue Devils will instead have to play two traditional big men with heralded freshman Wendell Carter alongside Marques Bolden. Or they’ll have to go even smaller with Tucker or wing Alex O’Connell serving as an undersized four.
Regardless, one position Duke won’t have to worry about so much is point guard. With Duval’s commitment on Monday, that spot now belongs to him.