The 2021 NBA Draft is set to kick off on July 29. LWOS continues its draft profiles with Providence’s David Duke. After breaking through during his sophomore year, he returned and had a breakout junior season.
David Duke 2021 Draft Profile
Duke averaged 15.2 points per game as a sophomore at Classical High School in Providence, RI and helped lead them to a Division I state title. He then transferred to Cushing Academy, before staying home and committing to Ed Cooley and the Providence Friars. The 6’5 guard started all 34 games as a freshman, and he improved his scoring average up to 12.2 points per game during sophomore season. He scored a career high of 36 points and hit six threes in a loss to Creighton. Duke followed that up by leading the Friars in both scoring (16.8) and assists (4.8), while also grabbing 6.3 rebounds per game. Duke was named Second Team All-Big East after leading the Friars to victories over Big East powers Villanova and Creighton. He scored 28 points in a road win over TCU, and a season-high 31 points in a win over Marquette. Duke also nearly posted a triple-double in a victory over Butler, scoring 22 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, and dishing out eight assists.
Trademark Game: 20 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists vs. Villanova
David Duke has shown steady improvement during his time at Providence, becoming a versatile guard who can score from inside or out and play on or off the ball. Listed at 6-foot-5 with a strong 205-pound frame to go along with very good length, Duke has an impressive frame and the ability to play above the rim, knock down the outside shot and hassle opposing guards. Serving as Providence’s first-option, Duke created over 55% of the Friars offense last sense. He was aggressive looking to score one-on-one, made shots at a strong rate off the dribble, and developed into a willing distributor. He carried the Friars for stretches during his junior season with his ability to make shots and the simple, smart play as a passer. Duke also possesses the length and physicality to guard multiple positions and be a factor on the glass. He recorded three double-doubles last season.
Duke had a lot on his plate, and orchestrating most of the Friars’ offense naturally led to erratic play at times last season. He averaged over three turnovers per game, and shot less than 35% over the second half of the season. He’ll more than likely walk into a role that requires him to do less, but his experienced running an offense projects him as a solid sixth man.
David Duke Pro Comparison
David Duke isn’t quite the defender, but he has a lot of his predecessor, former Providence guard Kris Dunn, in his game. He’s more of a finesse player, but like Dunn, Duke hit some big shots for the Friars and wasn’t afraid to step up and take them. Both guards flashed two-way potential in Ed Cooley’s system, however Duke’s offensive upside is higher.
2021 NBA Draft Projection
Duke’s ability to shoot, drive, distribute, and defend shouldn’t be overlooked, and a team with back court woes will likely select him in the mid-to-late second round.