Duke’s Kennard entering NBA draft after breakout season

Duke guard Luke Kennard, left,attempts to drive past Miami guard Bruce Brown during first-half action in an NCAA college basketball game in Coral Gables, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Gaston De Cardenas)

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke guard Luke Kennard is entering the NBA draft after a breakout sophomore season.

Kennard announced his decision through the school Thursday and says he plans to hire an agent, which means he won’t have the option to return for his junior year.

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Kennard averaged 19.5 points and shot nearly 49 percent, earning a spot on the Associated Press All-America second team.

He says he has “a lot of work ahead” of him but is “confident that I’m ready and have a great foundation for success.”

The 6-foot-6 guard is projected to be a mid- to late-first-round pick.

Kennard is the fifth player leaving this year’s team early. Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles turned pro following their freshman seasons, while backup big men Chase Jeter and Sean Obi are transferring.

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