Is College Basketball Already Too Easy For Zion Williamson, Duke Freshmen?

Tanya Simon
November 8, 2018

There were multiple possessions on Tuesday night where it took one dribble for Zion to go from the three-point line, past Reid Travis - Kentucky's 6-foot-8, 260 pound forward that was athletic enough to be recruited to play football at the BCS level - and all the way to the rim.

"If that is who they are, they aren't going to lose many games, " Calipari said. Barrett's dunk with 16:11 remaining made it 72-47, Alex O'Connell's 3-pointer with 11:45 remaining made it 91-54 and Duke topped the 100-point mark on another dunk by Barrett with 7:36 left.

From the opening tip, it was a full-blown wave from Duke, as Mike Krzyzewski's team came out of the gate flying.

Barrett led the way with 33 points on 13-of-26 shooting from the field and knocked down three of the Blue Devils' 12 3-pointers.

After making it 59-42 at halftime, Duke kept pulling away throughout the second half. Kentucky shaved the deficit to 12 on one occasion and 13 on another but could get no closer. "I haven't lost faith in my guys".

15-4 - Turnovers for United Kingdom and Duke, respectively. They needed their two-best defenders on Barrett and Williamson, and their point guard needed to guard Tre Jones - we'll get to him in a second - which left Tyler Herro to try and slow down Reddish. Junior forward Jack White did provide nine points and 11 rebounds off the bench. They combined for 83 points on the night, nearly outscoring the Wildcats' entire roster.

Both Barrett and Williamson surpassed Marvin Bagley III's program record for points by a freshman in his debut at 25.

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When recapping what happened, it now seems silly to put the ranking of No. 4 before the Blue Devils and the No. 2 before the Wildcats. It was one game, the opening game, an easy game to get hyped for as a first-year player. The Blue Devils only committed four turnovers compared with Kentucky's 15.

In Bankers Life Fieldhouse, in the fourth-iteration of the Champions Classic and the first one that was held in Indianapolis, then-No. The Blue Devils outscored United Kingdom by 24 from the arc.

Kentucky: "It's tough when you go down like that", Travis said.

And what it looks like we are on our way to seeing in this 2018-19 Duke team is one of those things that comes along in sports that everyone can't stop watching and talking about ... and eventually grows to hate.

Duke: "Every game will be like that". "It'll be there every night".

Kentucky looks to rebound when it returns to Rupp Arena against Southern Illinois on Friday.

Duke hosts Krzyzewski's alma mater, Army, on Sunday.

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