Duke

Marques Bolden staying at Duke for sophomore season

DURHAM -- Duke will have 6-11 center Marques Bolden as part of its interior rotation next season.

The school announced Monday night that Bolden, following a lackluster freshman season marred by injury, will stay at Duke for his sophomore season.

The announcement came after two online reports Sunday night that Bolden had decided to transfer.

“Despite rumors about my future that have circulated in recent days, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be returning to Duke for my sophomore year,” Bolden said in a statement Monday night. “I have unbelievable support from my family, teammates and coaches. I’m ready to get to work for next season and I’m excited for what should be a great year for our program.”

A five-star recruit, Bolden signed with Duke last May as the final piece to the nation’s top recruiting class. But the DeSoto, Texas, native never played up to his potential due to a left lower leg injury he suffered in November.

Bolden played in 24 games, averaging 1.5 points and 1.1 rebounds. He didn’t play in either of Duke’s NCAA Tournament games due to an illness.

“We’re thrilled that Marques will continue to be part of our program,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “In addition to being a talented basketball player, he’s an outstanding young man from a great family. It’s unfortunate that his freshman season was impacted by injury, but he has an opportunity to have a great summer and a special sophomore season.”

Bolden’s presence is important to Duke as the Blue Devils have already lost three post players from last season’s team. Amile Jefferson was a senior last season while sophomore Chase Jeter is transferring and freshman Harry Giles has declared for the NBA.

Duke has signed another five-star big man, 6-10 Wendell Carter, of Atlanta in this recruiting class.

The Blue Devils are still waiting on three perimater players -- Grayson Allen, Luke Kennard and Frank Jackson -- to decide if they’ll be part of the team next season or head to the NBA.

Steve Wiseman: 919-419-6671, @stevewisemanNC

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