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AJ Griffin fifth Duke player to declare for NBA draft

Sportsnaut
Feb 19, 2022; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward AJ Griffin (21) shoots over Florida State Seminoles center Tanor Ngom (11) during the second half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

AJ Griffin became the fifth member of Duke’s Final Four team to declare for the NBA draft.

He announced his decision Sunday on social media, joining teammates Trevor Keels, Wendell Moore Jr., Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams in heading to the draft.

In his freshman season, the 6-foot-6 Griffin appeared in 39 games (25 starts) and averaged 10.4 points and 3.9 rebounds over 24 minutes per game. He shot a team-high 44.7 percent from 3-point range.

Against North Carolina in the national semifinal game, he was just 1-of-7 shooting and scored six points.

ESPN ranks him No. 8 in its top 100 draft prospects.

“AJ was one of best shooters in the nation and his skillset is exactly what NBA teams are looking for,” former head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a news release. “… AJ showed up every day with a smile on his face and his positive energy was infectious.”

Griffin, who is from Ossining, N.Y., was a five-star recruit in the Class of 2021, as were Banchero and Keels.

Duke will be reloaded in the 2022-23 season under first-year coach Jon Scheyer, who has the nation’s top recruiting class, according to 247Sports. The class includes a quartet of five-star recruits, with the No. 1 player in the nation, Dereck Lively II of Pennsylvania, among them.

–Field Level Media