Canada's R.J. Barrett breaks Duke record in sizzling college debut

Annette Crawford
November 7, 2018

Duke now sports 4-1 odds to win the national title per William Hill. "I shouldn't say I'm surprised at how well these guys played because I see them, but to play on this stage right away against Kentucky was a little bit surprising".

Tip from Indianapolis is slated for 9:30 p.m. ET.

"If that is who they are, they aren't going to lose many games", Calipari said.

Barrett finished with 33 points, four rebounds and six assists in the game. The Wildcats are a perpetually young team but actually the more experienced team as they likely will start two freshmen to Duke's four.

And in just 23 minutes, Zion Williamson - who had to sit out much of the first half after picking up two quick fouls - finished with 28 points on a shooting performance that was almost flawless. Most teams don't have that kind of combination, but it's clear Kentucky needs to improve dramatically to keep up with the nation's top teams.

The Blue Devils' fabulous freshmen collectively laughed as if that mattered on Tuesday night.

Kentucky: Tyler Herro was the only other player to reach double figures. While he did finish with 22 points and seven rebounds, most of his buckets came once the outcome was already decided.

Facing a Kentucky squad with twin towers in Reid Travis and E.J. Montgomery, the Blue Devils needed all the help they could get grabbing boards and controlling possession, and White delivered. The Blue Devils only committed four turnovers compared with Kentucky's 15.


Devon Dotson #11 of the Kansas Jayhawks celebrates with Quentin Grimes #5 against the Michigan State Spartans during the State Farm Champions Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on November 6, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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

Having a captain that can provide valuable minutes on both ends of the court will be crucial for the Blue Devils, as a lineup composed primarily of freshmen could run into some mental errors in truly hostile environments.

Duke: "Every game will be like that".

"Obviously, we have to learn to close out games, " Self said. "It'll be there every night".

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

The fifth starter for Duke, junior big man Marques Bolden, did exactly what head coach Mike Krzyzewski has been asking him to do since he arrived in Durham: he snatched loose balls in the paint with authority.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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