One day after Jabari Parker formally announced his decision to declare for the NBA Draft, teammate Rodney Hood announced he also will forego his remaining time at Duke.
The school made Hood’s decision to go to the NBA official Friday, though it had been expected all season that the redshirt-sophomore forward would skip his final two seasons in college.
Hood averaged 16.1 points per game and led the team in minutes in 2013-14, during which he was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference second team.
Hood, a native of Meridian, Miss., initially committed to Mississippi State out of high school but transferred after only one season in Starkville, Miss.
He sat out the required year at Duke before joining the team this past season.
“He was an integral part of our team two years ago because he was such a great practice player, and this year he was one of the best players in the country,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a prepared statement.
Hood shot 46.4 percent from the field, 42 percent from behind the three-point line and just less than 81 percent from the free-throw line in his lone season at Duke.
Hood flourished as a wing player with mid-range ability for the Blue Devils, who went 26-9 and finished third in the ACC regular season.
Hood projects to be taken in the middle of the first round of the NBA Draft, which will be held June 26 in New York.
“Playing at Duke was a lifelong dream,” Hood said in the statement. “Now it is time to move on to the next level and chase my dream of becoming an NBA player. Duke played a large part in preparing me for this step and I am looking forward to making the most of it.”
Duke made the ACC Tournament championship game, where it lost to Virginia, then it was eliminated by 14th-seeded Mercer in its first game of the NCAA Tournament in Raleigh.
Even with its two best players now gone, Duke will have plenty of talent in Durham.
In addition to returning regulars Rasheed Sulaimon, Quinn Cook and Amile Jefferson, three five-star recruits are part of Duke’s incoming recruiting class.
Jahlil Okafor (center), Justise Winslow (forward) and Tyus Jones (point guard) all were in the top 10 nationally in Rivals’ rankings of 2014 recruits.
Nick Piotrowicz can be reached at 407-9952 or npiotrowicz @rmtelegram.com