College Basketball

Duke’s Justise Winslow to enter NBA Draft

Duke forward Justise Winslow (12) and teammate center Jahlil Okafor (15) draw a crowd of Michigan State defenders under the basket in the second half of play. Duke will advance to the NCAA national championship game after defeating Michigan State 81-61 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana Saturday, April 4, 2015.
Duke forward Justise Winslow (12) and teammate center Jahlil Okafor (15) draw a crowd of Michigan State defenders under the basket in the second half of play. Duke will advance to the NCAA national championship game after defeating Michigan State 81-61 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana Saturday, April 4, 2015. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Justise Winslow will enter the NBA Draft after one season at Duke, the school announced in a news release Tuesday. Winslow joins fellow freshman Jahlil Okafor as one-and-done members of Duke’s 2015 national championship team.

“He had a sensational year, both on and off the court,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in the release. “He was an amazing factor for our success in winning the national championship. From everything we have found out, Justise is projected to be a high lottery pick and we believe that to be true. This is a great time to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Winslow’s best stretch of the season came during Duke’s six-game run in the NCAA tournament. The freshman from Houston averaged 14.3 points and 9.3 rebounds during that span, shooting 50.9 percent from the field and converting 57.1 percent (8-of-14) of his 3-point attempts. Winslow’s finest all-around game came during the round of 32 against San Diego State, when he recorded 13 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks – one of which featured his hair swishing the net as he swatted the shot away.

Winslow’s ability to affect the game at both ends of the floor, combined with his muscular 6-foot-6, 225-pound frame and abundant athleticism, is why analysts project him as a top-10 pick in this spring’s NBA Draft.

“This year at Duke University, my dreams and aspirations have literally come true,” Winslow said in the release. “Since I was a kid in third grade playing for the Houston Jaguars, I envisioned one day playing at the collegiate level and winning a championship. If you fast forward 10 years and my dream became a reality.

“With that being said, my family and I have decided that I should declare for the NBA draft this year. Considering the success and growth that I have experienced over this past year as a player and as a person, I believe it is time to take the next step on my career path and play at the highest level.”

With Winslow and Okafor both entering the draft, this marks the first time that Duke has had multiple one-and-done players on the same team. Previously, there were five other one-and-done players at Duke: Corey Maggette (1999), Luol Deng (2004), Kyrie Irving (2011), Austin Rivers (2012), Jabari Parker (2014).

The Blue Devils are just waiting on one more draft decision, from freshman point guard Tyus Jones.

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