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Duke’s Giles, State’s Smith Jr. leaving after one year for NBA

DURHAM (AP) — Duke forward Harry Giles is entering the NBA draft following a freshman season that was slowed due to knee surgery.

Giles announced his decision Tuesday, and team spokesman Cory Walton says he plans to hire an agent.  That means Giles won’t have the option to return for his sophomore year.

“Playing in the NBA has been my goal for as long as I can remember, and I’m so excited to take the next step in that journey,” Giles said in a statement issued through the school. “My time at Duke has been a dream come true.”

Giles arrived at Duke as one of the nation’s top recruits despite missing his senior season of high school after tearing ligaments in his right knee, then had preseason arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to remove scar tissue from a previous injury. He missed the first 11 games and made only six starts, averaging 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 58 percent.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski called Giles “a joy to coach” and says he’s “only beginning to scratch the surface of how good he can be.”

He joins Jayson Tatum as one-and-done players from the Duke team that won the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament but lost to South Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Giles becomes the 11th player to enter the NBA draft after his freshman season at Duke. Each of the previous nine were picked in the first round, with eight of those going in the lottery.

His decision came on the same day forward Sean Obi said he would transfer after he graduates at the end of the spring semester. Another backup big man, Chase Jeter, previously said he will transfer to a school closer to his hometown of Las Vegas.

The injury-plagued Obi’s move wasn’t much of a surprise, with Krzyzewski calling it “an anticipated decision.”

Obi didn’t play in any games this season, with all 10 of his appearances with Duke coming in 2015-16. He averaged 2.7 minutes that season.

He’s transferring for the second time in his injury-plagued career. While at Rice in 2013-14, he led Conference USA in rebounding before transferring to Duke and redshirting during its national title season in 2015.

For more, see: http://collegebasketball.ap.org/salisburypost

NC STATE FRESHMAN GUARD DENNIS SMITH JR. DECLARES FOR NBA

RALEIGH (AP) — North Carolina State freshman Dennis Smith Jr. is heading to the NBA.

The point guard declared for the draft during a Tuesday morning announcement on ESPN. The move was no surprise since Smith was considered a likely one-and-done prospect this year and is projected to be a potential top-five pick.

“I believed I had a good chance whenever I hit college,” Smith said. “I thought it was definitely an obtainable dream for me, and I knew I would chase it with all my might.”

In a text message to The Associated Press, Smith’s father, Dennis Sr., said the family was “still weighing our options” for hiring an agent.

Smith was one of two players in Division I to post two triple-doubles. But the Wolfpack finished near the bottom of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings, a season that unraveled so completely that it ultimately cost coach Mark Gottfried his job .

Smith was named freshman of the year by the league — the program’s first since Hawkeye Whitney shared the award in 1977 — as well as ACC newcomer of the year by the AP. He led all ACC freshmen in scoring (18.1), led the league in assists (6.2) and ranked second in steals (1.9).

The 19-year-old from Fayetteville also became only the fourth player in league history to have two triple doubles in the same season — Virginia great Ralph Sampson was the only other freshman to do it — and the first of that group to have two during league play.

The 6-foot-3 point guard did it in his first full season back from a major knee injury suffered shortly before his senior year of high school, an injury that led him to enroll a semester early in January 2016 to focus on his rehab before making his playing debut that November.

Smith said he planned to complete his college degree.

The high point was his dominating 32-point performance during the Wolfpack’s first win at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1995. He also had triple-doubles against Virginia Tech (27 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists) and Syracuse (13 points, 11 rebounds 15 assists), while his 16 assists against Rider in December were tied for the most in any Division I game this year.

Still, the losses piled up. The Wolfpack (15-17, 4-14 ACC) lost five games by at least 24 points after being picked to finish sixth in the preseason, a prediction based largely on Smith’s arrival.

“I’ve never had a season like this in my life, so it’s brand new,” Smith said in an interview with the AP before the team’s regular-season finale. “It’s an adjustment. It’s definitely a learning experience. It’s just difficult. It’s difficult, I’m not going to lie.”

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

Giles becomes the 11th player to enter the NBA draft after his freshman season at Duke. Each of the previous nine were picked in the first round, with eight of those going in the lottery.

His decision came on the same day forward Sean Obi said he would transfer after he graduates at the end of the spring semester. Another backup big man, Chase Jeter, previously said he will transfer to a school closer to his hometown of Las Vegas.

The injury-plagued Obi’s move wasn’t much of a surprise, with Krzyzewski calling it “an anticipated decision.”

Obi didn’t play in any games this season, with all 10 of his appearances with Duke coming in 2015-16. He averaged 2.7 minutes that season.

He’s transferring for the second time in his injury-plagued career. While at Rice in 2013-14, he led Conference USA in rebounding before transferring to Duke and redshirting during its national title season in 2015.

For more, see: http://collegebasketball.ap.org/salisburypost

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