Cassius Stanley is a one-and-done at Duke, as the 6-foot-6 freshman guard announced Tuesday that he is entering the 2020 NBA Draft.
Expressing disappointment that his time in Durham, N.C., ended early due to the coronavirus pandemic that wiped out the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and the NCAA Tournament, Stanley tweeted, in part, “As much as I feel a burning desire to make another run at the Final Four, I feel compelled to make the best decision for my professional success, and therefore, I have decided to enter the 2020 NBA Draft.”
He added, “I want to thank Coach K, the entire Duke coaching staff and my teammates for all their support. I also want to thank our trainers, strength coaches, managers, administrative staff, and academic support staff. Last but not least, thanks to the Crazies and Duke fans all over the world for helping to make this past year the most fun I’ve ever had playing the sport we all love.”
Stanley averaged 12.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and one assist in 29 games, all starts, as a Blue Devil.
NBADraft.net lists Stanley as the 45th pick in its latest mock draft, while ESPN has him rated 50th.
Duke previously had sophomore point guard Tre Jones declare for the NBA draft, and the Durham Herald-Sun reported that freshman center Vernon Carey Jr. is expected to turn pro, too. That would leave coach Mike Krzyzewski without his top three scorers from the just-concluded season.
Krzyzewski said in a statement regarding Stanley’s departure, “It was an absolute joy to coach Cassius this season. I want to congratulate him and his great family on this decision.
“I’ve seen Cassius grow both as a player and person here at Duke, and I can’t wait to see how his career develops at the next level. Any NBA team will be very fortunate to get such a mature young man who is not only an incredibly-gifted athlete, but a leader that wants nothing but the best for himself and his teammates.”
Duke finished 25-6 this season and tied for second in the ACC with a 15-5 record. The Blue Devils were the fourth seed in the conference tournament that was abandoned before the quarterfinals.