DeLaurier happy to be back at Duke after testing NBA waters

DURHAM, N.C. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- It's a role that Duke forward Javin DeLaurier has played before -- the veteran presence on a roster loaded with some of the best first-year players in college basketball.

The St. Anne's-Belfield graduate was a captain on last year's Duke team that featured one-and-done lottery picks Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett. Now a senior, DeLaurier will again be a captain for the Blue Devils -- and be part of a front court that has added five-star recruits Vernon Carey, Matthew Hurt and Wendell Moore.

"I think this team can be really good," DeLaurier said. "We have a lot of old talent and a lot of young talent. It has been fun so far, working out over the summer and getting to know each other. We have potential to be really, really good."

DeLaurier was one of three seniors on the roster when the Blue Devils opened practice on Tuesday. Last week he was named one of the team's three captains for the 2019-20 season, along with fellow senior Jack White and sophomore point guard Tre Jones.

DeLaurier played in all 38 games for the Blue Devils last year, including 16 starts. He shot 74.7 percent from the floor, finishing the season averaging 3.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, and third on the team with 50 blocks. DeLaurier's season ended with his first career double-double -- a 10-point, 11-rebound performance in Duke's loss to Michigan State in the Elite Eight.

Following his junior season, DeLaurier made the decision to go through the NBA Draft process. He spent more than a month working out for NBA teams and was a participant at the G-League Elite Camp before announcing in late May that he would return to Duke for his senior year.

"That was a great experience for me," DeLaurier said on Monday. "It really helped me in terms of my confidence and also knowing what it takes to succeed at the next level. I made a goal of playing in the NBA, something that went from an abstract idea to seeing how the process breaks down and what it is going to take. So, I took that this summer and used it to work on my game and try to get better this year."

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