Duke basketball target AJ Green keeps name in 2022 NBA Draft

Northern Iowa's AJ Green (4) heads to the basket past Illinois State's Howard Fleming Jr.  (3) in the quarterfinal round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament March 4, 2022, in St.  Louis.

Northern Iowa’s AJ Green (4) heads to the basket past Illinois State’s Howard Fleming Jr. (3) in the quarterfinal round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament March 4, 2022, in St. Louis.

AP

With opportunities to play for his father at Iowa State or with perennial national power Duke next season, AJ Green chose door No. 3 on Wednesday.

The former Northern Iowa guard, who was twice named Missouri Valley Conference player of the year, announced he’s ending his college career and will stay in the NBA draft.

Green’s father, Kyle, is entering his second season as an assistant coach at Iowa State. He previously coached his son while an assistant coach at Northern Iowa.

Duke was AJ Green’s other choice for college basketball this season after he entered the transfer portal and put his name in the NBA draft pool in March.

The 6-4 Green made an official visit to Duke’s campus on May 17 after he attended the G League Elite scouting camp in Chicago. At that time, he said he had narrowed his choices to Duke or Iowa State if he returned to college basketball.

Green made the trip to Duke after he was not among seven G League Elite participants selected to stay in Chicago for the NBA draft scouting combine.

“This past month has been a tremendous learning experience for me,” Green said in a statement posted on social media. “Most notably, it indicates that my hard work is paying off and I will continue to trust this moving forward. I believe at this time it is best for me to remain in the NBA Draft and begin my journey of playing professional basketball.”

Renowned as an excellent shooter, Green shot 41% overall (38.7% on 3-pointers) at Northern Iowa last season.

He tested well in most of the G League Elite Camp’s shooting drills, hitting 17 of 25 (68%) 3-pointers in one setting, and drilling 17 of 20 (85%) closer shots during another drill. He made only 15 of 30 shots (50%) in a shooting off the dribble drill, but sank 9 of 10 in a free throw shooting drill.

Duke sought Green to add perimeter scoring punch to next season’s roster. Jeremy Roach is returning for his junior season but the Blue Devils have no other experienced players there.

Trevor Keels, a 6-4 guard who started 26 games for the Blue Devils last season, has until Wednesday at 11:59 pm to either stay in the draft or return to Duke.

The Blue Devils have also shown interest and are recruiting 6-3 guard Courtney Ramey, a former Texas player who entered the NCAA transfer portal in April.

Duke is bolstering its perimeter with 6-6 small forward Dariq Whitehead and 6-5 guard Jaden Schutt arriving as part of the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class.

This story was originally published June 1, 2022 7:59 PM.

Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. He placed second in both beat writing and breaking news in the 2019 Associated Press Sports Editors national contest. Previously, Steve worked for The State (Columbia, SC), Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, SC), The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.), Charlotte Observer and Hickory (NC) Daily Record covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the SC General Assembly. He’s won numerous state-level press association awards. Steve graduated from Illinois State University in 1989.

,

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.