Coach K on Duke’s new freshmen
Duke’s most experienced post player is recovering from elbow surgery.
Javin DeLaurier, a 6-foot-10 senior forward, had the surgery on Wednesday and is recovering well.
DeLaurier posted the news of the surgery on his personal Snapchat account Wednesday night and it was confirmed by Duke officials on Thursday, who described it as a “clean-up.”
“Just a routine thing,” Duke associate head coach Jon Scheyer said. “He’s doing really well recovering. It wasn’t too big a procedure. He’s in a good place.”
A team captain last season along with his roommate, 6-7 forward Jack White, the 6-10 DeLaurier played in all 38 games for Duke last season with 16 starts. He averaged 3.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game as Duke went 32-6, won the ACC tournament and made the NCAA tournament’s final eight.
DeLaurier entered his name for the NBA Draft and was invited to the G League scouting combine event. He withdrew his name before the May 29 deadline so he could return to Duke for his senior season.
Scheyer said DeLaurier’s elbow surgery didn’t impact on his decision to withdraw from the NBA Draft. But DeLaurier did come back a better player from the experience, Scheyer said.
“I just think it was a chance to learn,” Scheyer said. “When a guy wants to get better in college we’re not able to work with them as much as we would like. We get a certain among out hours a week, a certain number of weeks in the summer. So it’s tough. It gives a guy a chance to workout against really high-level competition.
“It was a great experience for Javin. He’s come back more confident. He knows specific things he needs to work on.”
Duke’s only other big men on its roster for next season are freshmen: 6-10 Vernon Carey and 6-9 Matthew Hurt.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said DeLaurier’s decision to return was “huge” to give the Blue Devils a veteran in the post along with the freshmen.