‘Gifted’ Williams will go away Duke, enter NBA draft

Mark Williams is the primary of Duke’s a number of NBA prospects to say he’s leaving to enter the draft. The 7-foot-1, 242-pound sophomore introduced his choice in a social media video Monday night.

“Taking part in within the NBA has at all times been a dream of mine, similar to how (attending) Duke was once I was rising up,” Williams stated. “Duke has ready me to take this subsequent step and I’m excited to announce I might be declaring for the 2022 NBA Draft.”

Ranked because the No. 18 draft prospect by ESPN, Williams was an elite rim protector final season and a finalist for nationwide defensive participant of the 12 months. The Virginia Seashore, Virginia, native began all 39 video games, averaged 11.2 factors and seven.4 rebounds and ranked twelfth nationally with 2.82 blocks per sport. He additionally shot 70.4% by way of two faculty seasons and improved on the foul line considerably (from 53.7% as a freshman to 72.7% as a sophomore).

A lot of Williams’ offensive manufacturing got here on putbacks, dunks and alley-oop passes with the remainder of his offensive sport in improvement, although he has proven back-to-the-basket progress, too.

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Williams joined star freshman Paolo Banchero in giving Duke a powerful frontline that helped the Blue Devils attain now-retired Corridor of Famer Mike Krzyzewski’s file thirteenth Ultimate 4 whereas additionally profitable this system’s first outright Atlantic Coast Convention regular-season title since 2006.

“He’s gifted at each ends of the ground and is pushed to get even higher day-after-day,” Krzyzewski stated in an announcement. “The NBA group that drafts Mark is clearly getting a gifted participant, however an equally spectacular younger man off the court docket that may signify their group with class.”

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He closed his Duke profession with eight factors and 4 rebounds whereas being restricted to 17 minutes resulting from foul bother within the loss to rival North Carolina within the nationwide semifinals.

A number of Duke gamers, together with star freshmen in Banchero and A.J. Griffin, are also thought of prone to head to the NBA.

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