Duke Basketball Guard Bids Farewell to Blue Devils

Duke basketball junior Jaylen Blakes has one season of eligibility remaining to play elsewhere.
Duke basketball guards Jaylen Blakes and Jeremy Roach
Duke basketball guards Jaylen Blakes and Jeremy Roach / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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Following three years as a gritty defender and team-first contributor off the Duke basketball bench, Jaylen Blakes announced his intention to transfer to another program on Saturday afternoon. There's no telling yet where he'll end up to play his final year of college ball.

Whichever program lands him will be getting a proven defensive sparkplug, albeit with undeniable limitations on the other end of the floor.

RELATED: Prediction Pops Up for Outbound Duke Transfer

The 6-foot-2 combo guard out of Somerset, N.J., a former four-star prep and the last recruit to commit to now-retired legend Mike Krzyzewski, is on track to receive his degree this spring. Therefore, Blakes will appear in the portal as a graduate transfer.

As a junior this past season for a Blue Devil squad that finished 27-9 overall and upset No. 1 seed Houston in the Sweet 16 before losing to nearby ACC foe NC State two nights later in Dallas, Blakes saw action in 31 games. He averaged 1.8 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.7 steals across only 9.2 minutes per outing.

He's the third Blue Devil to enter the transfer portal this cycle, joining Mark Mitchell and Christian Reeves.

Meanwhile, Duke basketball is preparing to welcome six heralded freshmen this summer in Cooper Flagg, Khaman Maluach, Isaiah Evans, Kon Knueppel, Patrick Ngongba II, and Darren Harris. They comprise the nation's top-ranked recruiting class.

And the Blue Devils are set to welcome back Tyrese Proctor, according to multiple reports this week, as fans await official word on the plans of Jeremy Roach, Jaden Schutt, Caleb Foster, Sean Stewart, and TJ Power.

If all of the above players return for Jon Scheyer's third season as head coach, then Duke would have only one scholarship spot left to fill on the 2024-25 roster.

Stay tuned to Blue Devil Country on SI for more Duke basketball news.

Matt Giles


Matt Giles is the editor and publisher of FanNation's Blue Devil Country and All Tar Heels, covering the Duke Blue Devils and UNC Tar Heels on SI.com.