Zion Williamson Could Be Greatest Player In Duke History, Says Dahntay Jones

ESPN's matchup predictor for Duke Kentucky NCAA Men's Basketball

Barrett scores 33, No. 4 Duke blows out No. 2 Kentucky in season opener

Duke's newcomers never doubted they could win this convincingly. They finished with only nine points between them on 3-for-12 shooting from the field, and Washington fouled out midway through the second half.

Duke's 118-84 dismantling of Kentucky in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night was impressive enough to anyone watching, but a deeper dive into the numbers reveals just how unique a night it was.

It was the most lopsided defeat in coach John Calipari's tenure at Kentucky and marked the eighth time in 10 meetings the Blue Devils have beaten the Wildcats. Of his team-leading and career-high 11 rebounds, six of them came on the offensive glass, helping Duke score on a majority of its possessions.

With just two exhibition games under their belts, we did not have a whole lot to go on when breaking down this Kansas team.

"We weren't surprised we were winning by so much, " Barrett said.

Williamson and Barrett drove to the bucket at will against Kentucky's defense, and Duke as a whole shot 54 percent from the field and 46 percent from three, all while committing just four turnovers as a team. He was a terror in transition, he was unstoppable when he turned the corner and he oh-by-the-way hit 3-of-7 threes.

What in the world was I thinking?

The same can be said about Williamson, although that wasn't necessarily a given entering the season. Cam Reddish added 22 points and Tre Jones had six, giving Duke's freshmen a combined 89 points. But there were legitimate questions about how well that would translate to the college level, where player are closer to his size, and his strength, and his athleticism.

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Keldon Johnson led the Wildcats with 23 points while Reid Travis added 22 points.

You can't guard him, either, as evidenced by the 28 points he posted on 11-for-13 shooting. "We've still got a good group". That did not go well.

College basketball was treated to a marquee opening night doubleheader at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Reddish entered college with a reputation for being a less-than-stellar teammate, but it didn't show Tuesday, as he looked like a future top five pick while embracing the floor-spacing, mismatch-exploiting role he was tasked with playing.

A top 15 recruit in his own right, Jones could not be a more ideal point guard for this Duke team.

And what can anyone do to beat them? Why am I not getting as many touches?

The season-opening game between two of the nation's top five ranked teams set up to be a Final Four preview. We've seen that before with one-and-done teams.

Can you see it coming now?

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