May 27, 2024

Another Duke men’s basketball player has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal, marking the third departure from the Blue Devils’ roster in recent times. Jaylen Blakes, a backup guard set to graduate, revealed on Instagram his intention to finish his college basketball career elsewhere. Expressing anticipation for his next journey, Blakes, standing at 6-2, started only three games over his three-year tenure with Duke. Despite this, he logged 31 appearances (with one start) in the previous season, during which Duke achieved a 27-9 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite 8 round. Playing an average of 9.2 minutes per game and primarily recognized for his defensive skills, Blakes averaged 1.8 points per game last season.

In his social media announcement, Blakes reflected on his time at Duke, expressing gratitude to the university community, coaches, teammates, and staff for their role in his personal and athletic growth. Hailing from Somerset, New Jersey, Blakes joins forward Mark Mitchell and center Christian Reeves in the transfer portal, alongside guard Jared McCain and center Kyle Filipowski, who declared their intentions to enter the NBA Draft. Additionally, with reserve center Ryan Young exhausting his college eligibility, Duke sees a total of six players departing its program.

Jaylen Blakes - 2023-24 - Men's Basketball - Duke University

However, Duke remains poised for the future with the arrival of six freshmen this summer, comprising the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class. Notable additions include Cooper Flagg, a 6-9 forward recognized as the Gatorade national player of the year, and 7-1 center Khaman Maluach. The team also awaits a decision from senior guard Jeremy Roach regarding a potential fifth season, with eligibility rules under the NCAA’s COVID-19 pandemic regulations offering flexibility. Moreover, Tyrese Proctor, a 6-5 point guard from Australia, intends to stay with the Blue Devils for his junior season, while guard Caleb Foster is set to return after a season-ending injury.

Despite the departures, Duke retains the option to recruit players from the transfer portal, with former practice squad member and walk-on guard Spencer Hubbard graduating in May. Furthermore, Duke did not fully utilize all 13 of its scholarships last season, providing additional flexibility for roster adjustments.

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