Jared McCain's Record-Breaking Game Was Actually Bad for Duke

The star freshman may have played his way into the first round of the NBA Draft
Jared McCain scored 30 points while making eight three-pointers against James Madison
Jared McCain scored 30 points while making eight three-pointers against James Madison / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The story of Duke's dominant second-round win over James Madison was Jared McCain's supernova explosion, setting the program's freshman record for most made three-pointers in an NCAA Tournament game (8) in one of the most impressive performances we've seen all year.

However, there's reason to believe this was actually a bad thing for the Blue Devils moving forward. McCain is flying up NBA draft boards after the sensational effort, increasing the likelihood that he will leave the program to try his hand at professional basketball this summer.

Given Duke won the game 93-55 and didn't really need McCain to put up 30 points, could the freshman's stellar performance hurt the program?

Jared McCain More Likely to Leave for NBA Draft After 30-Point Game

McCain has been considered a possible late first-round pick throughout the season, giving him some incentive to return for his sophomore year to lead Duke's backcourt with the impending exit of senior Jeremy Roach.

Performances like this one will make him a highly-coveted prospect. On the season, the highly-touted freshman averages 14 points, five rebounds and over a steal per game while shooting 46.5% from the field and 41.5% from beyond the arc on nearly six attempts a contest.

The majority of his three-pointers against James Madison did come on catch-and-shoot three-pointers, so there are still legitimate questions about his ability to create his own shot. That being said, tons of players are making a living in the NBA by making that exact kind of shot and there's absolutely a place in the league for McCain.

He won the McDonald's All-American three-point shooting contest, and Jonathan Givony of The Draft Express believes he could be a top-20 pick.

If McCain lights the nets on fire in the Sweet 16, we could be watching his final games in a Duke uniform.

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