Trevon Duval: From 6th ranked Prospect coming out of High School to going Undrafted
If you talked about a top high school player going to college and then dropping in the rankings after the one and done season, most people will point to Michael Porter Jr. He was once considered to be the best player in this class, but then he fell to the 14th pick in the draft.
But there is a player who had a bigger fall. Trevon Duval.
Trevon Duval was once considered one of the best players in this class. He was the highest ranked point guard, higher than Sexton, Young, and Gilgeous-Alexander. He was also a higher ranked prospect than Kevin Knox and Jaren Jackson Jr. These rankings and comparisons are to give you an idea of how good Duval once was considered. All three of the point guards mentioned above were taken in the top 12 picks of the draft, meanwhile, Duval saw as his name went unnoticed in the draft.
If you search up Trevon Duval on Wikipedia, you will see his information regarding his high school career is much more detailed than the section regarding his one and done season. In high school, Duval played for three different schools. He experienced great success at each school, along with great success with AAU basketball.
During his freshman year, Duval and his AAU team were able to win the 2014 Nike Elite Youth Basketball Jam Championship. Then 2 years later, he led his AAU team to the Under Armour Association Championship. Duval became the first player in history to win both those championships. For his senior year, he transferred to IMG Academy. He averaged 16.1 points and 7.5 assists per game, and lead IMG to a 26-2 record. His high school success earned him a spot at the McDonald's All-American game and in the Jordan Brand Classic.
He was a five-star recruit and was ranked by some as high as third in his class. Everything was set up perfectly for Duval to succeed, he had the high school exposure and just needed to continue some of that success for one more year. He even accepted his offer to play for a prestigious basketball university, Duke. Everything seemed perfect.
But then it all fell apart.
Trevon Duval was not the only hyped up prospect heading to Duke. He had two other top 5 ranked high school players joining him: Wendell Carter Jr. and Marvin Bagley III. Both of these two men were picked in the lottery and will be key pieces to their respective franchise moving forward. Duke used both of these men as a strong frontcourt that would cause havoc to any defenders trying to guard them in the post.
The idea was that if ever to the two big men experienced any trouble scoring in the paint, they could kick it out to their guards, Grayson Allen and Duval, to shoot it from the perimeter. Allen was successful and is seen as a nice athletic shooter with potential, but Duval was unable to replicate the same level of success. Duval's shot just wasn't going in. There have been some expressed concerns about the mechanics, but it was clear while his teammates were flourishing, Duval struggled.
He only scored 10.3 points per game, shooting 42% from the field, 60% from the free throw line, and 29% from three. To put that in perspective, he was the fifth leading scorer on his team, and his percentages were some of the worst for the Bluedevils. Suddenly all the hype surrounding Duval was fading, as his peers would overtake him in the rankings.
A point guard who can't shoot. We can argue that Ben Simmons is successful as being tagged as a point guard who can't shoot, but Simmons is bigger and stronger. Duval stands at an average size for an NBA point guard, but he simply can't shoot. His shot needs to be fixed and maybe then he can make all the teams that chose to pass on him regret their decision. He is athletic and uses his speed to attack the rim, but these days franchises need a floor general who can shoot.
There is good news for this once high school basketball star. The Houston Rockets have signed Duval for their summer league roster. He has a chance to prove and show why he was so highly touted in high school. He will have access to trainers and shooting coaches who can help him recreate his shooting form to ensure he can score at a greater efficiency than he did at Duke.