Last Thursday, Kyrie Irving was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. Irving joined Elton Brand and Art Heyman as the only Duke Blue Devils to be selected with the first overall pick.
Duke University has yielded many quality basketball players who played an entire four years with the university. Players such as: Grant Hill, J.J. Redick, Shane Battier, Bobby Hurley and Christian Laettner all played four years of college basketball before entering the NBA draft.
However, starting in the late 1990s with Elton Brand, Corey Maggette and William Avery, it became more common to see Duke basketball players enter the draft early.
After only playing part of one season, Irving now joins the list of players who we wish had played with the Blue Devils for four years.
Who else is on the list?
Let’s find out.
In each of his two seasons with the Duke Blue Devils (2005-06, 2006-07), Josh McRoberts led the team in field goal percentage, shooting 60 and 50 percent from the floor, respectively.
As a freshman, McRoberts was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team.
McRoberts has spent time with the Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers.
Gerald Henderson played three seasons at Duke University. As a junior, Henderson led the team in scoring, averaging 16 points a contest and was named to the All-ACC First Team.
Henderson has spent his first two seasons in the NBA with the Charlotte Bobcats.
After two seasons with the Duke Blue Devils, where he averaged 11 points and four assists, Avery entered the 1999 NBA draft. Avery was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 14th overall pick.
Avery played only three seasons in the NBA.
As a sophomore, Mike Dunleavy helped lead the Duke Blue Devils to the 2001 National Championship.
As a junior, Dunleavy was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-American First Team, averaging 17 points and seven rebounds a game.
In the 2001-02 season, Dunleavy, Carlos Boozer and Jay Williams all scored 600 points—a feat which has only been accomplished one other time in school history (2009-2010: Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer).
Dunleavy has spent time playing for the Indiana Pacers and Golden State Warriors.
Carlos Boozer bypassed his last season of eligibility with the Duke Blue Devils to enter the 2002 NBA draft.
Boozer played an integral part in the Blue Devils defeating the Arizona Wildcats for the 2001 National Championship.
In his three seasons at Duke, Boozer averaged 14 points a game and shot 63 percent from the field.
Corey Maggette played only one season with the Duke Blue Devils, averaging 10 points and four rebounds. Maggette helped lead the Blue Devils to the 1999 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Championship Game, before the team was upset by the Connecticut Huskies.
In his 12-year NBA career, Maggette has played for the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks.
Luol Deng spent only one season with the Duke Blue Devils. However, it wasn’t uneventful.
Deng became only the tenth freshman in ACC history to lead all rookies in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage.
Deng has spent his entire NBA career with the Chicago Bulls.
During his three years with the Duke Blue Devils, Jay Williams led the team to the 2001 National Championship as a sophomore and won the Wooden and Naismith awards as a junior.
Williams was selected with the second overall pick in the 2002 draft by the Chicago Bulls.
After playing one season with the Bulls, Williams was involved in a motorcycle accident. Since recovering from his accident, Williams has not played in the NBA.
Elton Brand spent two years with the Duke Blue Devils, before entering the 1999 NBA draft. Brand was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the first overall pick.
In his two seasons at Duke, Brand averaged 16 points and eight rebounds a game. In his sophomore season, Brand was awarded the Naismith College Player of the Year Award, in addition to the John Wooden Award.
Brand has spent parts of his NBA career with the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers.
As a member of the Clippers, Brand was named to the Western Conference All-Star Team in 2002 and 2006.
Kyrie Irving was selected with the first overall pick in last week’s draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Due to a toe injury, Irving’s only season with the Duke Blue Devils was drastically shortened. Irving only appeared in 11 games last season.
Considering his small sample size of collegiate games, Irving’s ability to play at the next level is being questioned.