BROOKLYN — Chris Duarte became the first lottery pick of the Dana Altman era on Thursday when the 2021 Jerry West Award winner was taken 13th overall by the Indiana Pacers in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Duarte is Oregon’s highest draft pick since Luke Jackson went No. 10 overall in 2004, and the eighth-highest selection in program history.
Named the top shooting guard in the nation, Duarte was stellar for the Ducks as a senior in 2020-21. He averaged 17.1 points per game while shooting a sizzling 53.2 percent from the floor and 42.4 percent from three-point range. Duarte was the Associated Press Pac-12 player of the year as well as a first-team all-Pac-12 and Pac-12 all-defensive selection.
A dynamic shooter and versatile playmaker, Duarte was one of only two players in Division I to average 17.0 points and 1.9 steals per game while shooting at least 50.0 percent from the floor. The Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, native was especially good down the stretch of the regular season, earning Pac-12 player of the week honors after averaging 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game to help Oregon go 3-0 and clinch its second consecutive Pac-12 regular-season title.
Duarte led the Ducks to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen in March, getting a feel for his future home while playing two games in the Pacers’ home arena – Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Duarte scored 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting in Oregon’s second-round win over Iowa, and followed with 21 points in the Sweet Sixteen vs. USC.
NBA Draft Notes
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All-time Oregon NBA First Round Draft Picks (14)
2021 – Chris Duarte, Indiana, No. 13
2020 – Payton Pritchard, Boston, No. 26
2018 – Troy Brown Jr., Washington, No. 15
2007 – Aaron Brooks, Houston, No. 26
2004 – Luke Jackson, Cleveland, No. 10
2003 – Luke Ridnour, Seattle, No. 14
2002 – Fred Jones, Indiana, No. 14
1991 – Terrell Brandon, Cleveland, No. 11
1985 – Blair Rasmussen, Denver, No. 15
1977 – Greg Ballard, Washington, No. 4
1976 – Ron Lee, Phoenix, No. 10
1971 – Stan Love, Baltimore, No. 9
1966 – Jim Barnett, Boston, No. 8
1955 – Jim Loscutoff, Boston, No. 4