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Moments from the 2017-18 season: Put up your Dukes!


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Kahlil Dukes' workout videos on his Instagram account made him an internet sensation. His play over the last two seasons made him a star on the court. Dukes left his mark on the Niagara and MAAC record books in his two seasons as a Purple Eagle.

Dukes, who was tabbed to the 2017-18 Preseason All-MAAC Second Team, posted career-highs with 21.0 points per game and with 3.3 assists per game while setting career-high numbers in field goal percentage (46.5 %), 3-point field goal percentage (41.7%), 3-pointers made (95), and total free throws made (149). Dukes was second in the MAAC and 30th in the NCAA in scoring and led the conference in free throw percentage (90.9 percent) and in 3-point field goal percentage (41.7 percent).

Dukes, a native of Hartford, Conn., earned numerous accolades after a stellar 2017-18 campaign. Dukes was named to the Associated Press (AP) All-America Honorable Mention team. He is the third Purple Eagle to receive AP All-America honors in program history, joining Calvin Murphy (Second Team - 1967-68, First Team -1968-69 and 1969-70) and Juan Mendez (Honorable Mention – 2004-05).
Dukes was named the 2017-18 MAAC Co-Player of the Year to become the fourth Purple Eagle in program history to earn the distinction. He was the only unanimous selection to the 2017-18 All-MAAC First Team, was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division I All-District I First Team, the All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Second Team, and the All-Mid Major Second Team by College Sports Madness.

Dukes set the tone for the season in Niagara's season-opening win at St. Bonaventure. He scored a team-high 23 points on 8 of 14 shooting, including a game-high six 3-pointers. Dukes set a then-season-high in points with 26, including a game-high five 3-pointers, at No. 14/15 Minnesota.  Through the first seven games, Dukes averaged 22.2 points per game including scoring 20-plus points in six out of the seven games. He was named to the Barclays Center Classic Niagara Division All-Tournament Team.

On December 11, Dukes was named MAAC Player of the Week for the first time in his career after averaging 28 points and six assists versus New Hampshire and St. Francis (Pa.).  In Niagara's win at New Hampshire, Dukes notched his first career 30-point game with a game-high 31 points, including 22 points in the second half. Dukes went 8-for-11 from beyond the 3-point line. The eight 3-pointers are tied for the second most in program history. Dukes followed his career-high 31-point performance with a team-high 25 points and a career-high 11 assists for his first career double-double against St. Francis. In Niagara's final non-conference game of the regular season, Dukes scored a team-high 28 points for his 10th 20-point game of the season as NU edged Cornell.

Dukes was instrumental to Niagara's strong start to conference play. After dropping their first two MAAC games, the Purple Eagles reeled off five straight victories. Dukes earned MAAC Player of the Week honors for the second time in his career on January 15. He averaged a team-high 23 points and shot over 63 percent from the field and 60 percent from the 3-point line in wins over Monmouth and Saint Peter's. Dukes scored a game-high 23 points, including a game-high four 3-pointers, in a comeback win at Quinnipiac for Niagara's fifth straight win.

Dukes continued to light up the scoreboard with 26 points at Fairfield and 28 at Canisius, though his most prolific offensive outburst occurred on February 4 at Monmouth when he set a career-high with 37 points on 11 of 17 shooting from the field, 5-of-8 from the 3-point line, and he went a perfect 10-for-10 at the free-throw line. The 37 points were the most by a Purple Eagle in four seasons. He also tied the program record in consecutive free throws (27) and would eventually set a new record with 38 consecutive free throws. Dukes led Niagara in scoring in four of the final six games of the regular season, including the last three games where he scored 20-plus.

Dukes was the only unanimous selection to the All-MAAC First Team and was named MAAC Co-Player of the Year to join Juan Mendez (2004-05), Demond Stewart (2000-01), and Alvin Young (1998-99) as MAAC Player of the Year recipients from Niagara University.

Dukes scored 21 points for his league leading 22nd 20-point game of the season as NU fell to Fairfield in the MAAC Tournament Quarterfinals. Niagara received an invitation to play in the CIT for the program's first postseason tournament in five seasons and played Eastern Michigan. In his final game as a Purple Eagle, Dukes led Niagara in scoring with 16 points to be in double figures for the 26th consecutive game, and 32 out of 33 games. He also led NU in assists with four and had three steals.

He finished his two-year career at Niagara as the program's career leader in free throw percentage (91.4 %), with 1,202 points, 244 assists, and 160 3-pointers. His 95 3-pointers are second most in a single season.
Dukes, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications in May 2017, earned a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies in May 2018.

In June 2018, Dukes had pre-NBA Draft workouts with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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