Duke freshmen dominate Kentucky, confirm status as team to watch this season

Yahoo Sports
Zion Willliamson and his fellow Duke freshmen made easy work of Kentucky on Tuesday. (Getty)
Zion Willliamson and his fellow Duke freshmen made easy work of Kentucky on Tuesday. (Getty)

Duke’s freshman class is one of the most hyped in the history of college hoops.

One game in, and they’re already surpassing that buzz.

R.J. Barrett, Cameron Reddish and Zion Williamson led No. 4 Duke in a 118-84 rout of No. 2 Kentucky that resembled a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition more than a clash of basketball blue bloods.

Duke freshmen live up to the hype and then some

The freshmen led the way, filling up the box score and highlight reels to confirm their presence as the team to watch in college basketball this year.

Perhaps the best known of the three for his dunking prowess, Williamson got a chance to show his skills at the rim early on.


But Barrett is considered the top of the class and showed why with a one-man fast break.


They scored from all angles — in transition, in half court and from distance.


Duke trio dominates box score

The three freshmen combined to score 83 of Duke’s 118 points.

Barrett dominated with 33 points to go with six assists and four rebounds. Reddish chipped in 22 points, three assists, two rebounds and four steals. Williamson tallied 28 points, seven rebounds and two assists.

And lest Williamson be pigeonholed as strictly a high flyer in transition, he punctuated his night with this crossover dunk while running point.


This was all against a Kentucky squad expected to compete for a national championship. Kentucky’s previous worst loss under John Calipari was by 30 points against Tennessee in 2013. Now that’s a feather in Duke’s cap.

If this is a sign of things to come, Duke might actually exceed expectations this season.

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