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Get To Know Charlotte Hornets 2nd Round Pick Vernon Carey Jr.

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Meet 2x Florida’s Mr. Basketball

The Charlotte Hornets selected the 19-year-old Duke Freshman and Florida native Vernon Carey Jr. with the 32nd pick in the 2nd round of the NBA Draft. Carey Jr. is a rim running big that offers a lot of bounce and energy on the boards, the type of player that should complement #3 overall selection LaMelo Ball in pick and roll situations.

Vernon Carey Jr. was a 5-star recruit out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at his high school NSU University School (yeah, I know…) Carey Jr. averaged 21.7 points per game and 9.0 rebounds per game in his senior season and 26.7 points and 10.4 rebounds per game in his junior season earning him Florida’s Mr. Basketball award in back-to-back seasons. An award given to the best high school basketball player in the state of Florida, Carey Jr also gained national attention after being named to the McDonalds All-American team and being ranked No.3 in the ESPN class of 2019 rankings.

Vernon Carey Jr. recruiting decision was not an easy one. On one side was 5-time NCAA National Champion Coach Mike Krzyzewski on the other side was Michigan State’s Coach and 2000 NCAA National Champion Tom Izzo. Vernon Carey Jr. ultimately committed to Duke citing Coach K “The reason I chose Duke was Coach K” and his scheme “Position-less basketball” for his reasoning.

Vernon Carey Jr. had a good freshman year at Duke averaging 17.8 ppg and 8.8 rpg in 31 games, Carey Jr. showed good athleticism and burst on the boards his production for Duke got him notoriety off the court, Carey Jr. racked up accolades during his freshman season he was named to the All-ACC team, the ACC All-Freshman team, and was named the ACC ROY an award given to the best freshman basketball player in the ACC.

Carey Jr. is going to have to shape his game to fit the modern NBA as he is currently more of an outdated version of what NBA teams ask from starter worthy centers. Carey Jr. has started to make some attempt at that by putting in work during the offseason and dropping 30 pounds to become more of a position-less player that can stay on the court. It’ll be interesting to see the plans that the Hornets have for the 2nd round pick especially since he plays a position of need for the Charlotte Hornets.