Duke freshman Dariq Whitehead announced on Wednesday that he’s entering his name into the 2023 NBA draft pool, per a press release from the school. The announcement doesn’t mention anything about Whitehead maintaining his NCAA eligibility, so it seems safe to assume he’ll hire an agent and go pro.
“I’m really looking forward to this next step in my basketball career and I’m truly blessed to have this opportunity,” Whitehead said in a statement. “I’ve dreamed of these moments for so long. I can’t wait to get after it and continue preparing for the NBA Draft.”
A five-star recruit out of high school, Whitehead was widely viewed as a potential lottery pick entering the college season, but has seen his stock dip a little since then. The 6’7″ swingman averaged just 8.3 points per game on .421/.429/.793 shooting in 28 games (20.6 MPG) for the Blue Devils, chipping in 2.4 RPG and 1.0 APG.
Whitehead sustained a stress fracture in his right foot last August and also dealt with an ankle sprain during the college season, so those injuries may have been a factor in his up-and-down freshman year.
Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) believes Whitehead’s draft range is among the widest for this year’s first-round prospects. Jonathan Givony of ESPN currently has the 18-year-old ranked at No. 24 on his big board. Sam Vecenie of The Athletic had him at No. 22 in his most recent mock draft.