DURHAM — High-flying Duke freshman Cassius Stanley is making the leap to the NBA.

The 6-foot-6 guard, who emerged as one of the most electrifying dunkers in college basketball this past season, said Tuesday that he's entering the NBA Draft after a one-year stay with the Blue Devils.

“As much as I feel a burning desire to make another run at the Final Four, I feel compelled to make the best decision for my professional success,” he said in a statement announcing the decision, “and therefore, I have decided to enter the 2020 NBA Draft.”

Stanley joined Duke teammate Tre Jones as an early entry in the NBA Draft pool. Jones, the sophomore guard, declared last month. Freshman center Vernon Carey Jr. also is expected to leave the Blue Devils for the NBA.

Draft projections forecast the 20-year-old Stanley to be picked late in the first round or early in the second round. He started all 29 games in which he played this past season, ranking as Duke's third-leading scorer with 12.6 points per game, behind Carey (17.8 points per game) and Jones (16.2 points per game).

Stanley delivered a season-best 24 points during a January loss to Louisville. He supplied 19 points and six rebounds in Duke's victory to finish the regular season against rival North Carolina. That turned out the be the final game for the Blue Devils (25-6), as the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the remainder of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament and the entirety of the NCAA Tournament.

Stanley, who's from Los Angeles, said playing in the NBA has been a dream since he was a young teenager. He added 4.9 rebounds per game, second on the Duke team to Carey's 8.8 boards per game. He connected on 47.4 percent of his shots from the field, including 36 percent from 3-point range.

“It was an absolute joy to coach Cassius this season,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in the statement accompanying Stanley's decision. “Any NBA team will be very fortunate to get such a mature young man who is not only an incredibly gifted athlete, but a leader that wants nothing but the best for himself and his teammates.”