Stephen A. Smith: Duke Basketball Can Go Undefeated

Doug Mendoza
November 8, 2018

Duke: Marvin Bagley III held the previous mark for points by a freshman in his debut with 25.

The Blue Devils' fabulous freshmen collectively laughed as if that mattered on Tuesday night. But it did Tuesday night and Calipari didn't fault the fans.

Duke: The Blue Devils seem to have it all - athletes, scorers, defenders and rebounders.

The freshmen had plenty of help from Duke's inexperienced veterans.

Freshman shooting guard R.J.

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Lawson made a case, too, finishing with 14 rebounds and six assists after sitting out last season following his transfer from Memphis.

Kentucky: It was an embarrassing performance for the Wildcats, who weren't physical enough against Williamson and couldn't keep up with Barrett. The 6-8 Williamson's combination of talent, skill and freakish athleticism (he had to duck on a dunk to not bump his head!) are reminiscent of a young James - though Williamson's skill set might be unique.

In what will go down as Tom Keegan's final KU Sports Extra at the Journal-World, we broke down the game and reacted to some of the things that went down during KU's season opener on Tuesday night. Reddish added 22 points. The small forward poured in 22 points, showing off a smooth stroke from beyond the arc, where he was 3-of-8, as well as from the charity stripe, where he was a flawless 7-of-7. Williamson followed with 28 points on 11-of-13 shooting despite playing just under 23 minutes due to first-half foul trouble.

A Williamson layup and Reddish 3-pointer in the first minute of the second half pushed Duke's lead to 64-42 and caused Kentucky coach John Calipari to call a timeout.

This year's Duke team could prove to be one of Krzyzewski's best. And he didn't make silly mistakes (zero turnovers). "What Jack White did today, that's what he's been doing in practice and exhibitions, but there's nothing like doing it in a game on a big stage". Surprising some - not anyone here at Ball Durham - by proving to be one of the key pieces to the lethal attack, the junior forward came off the bench but played 30 minutes as a result of his providing the spark to several fast breaks with one hustle play after another. Especially when they're making plays like this on Day 1 of their college careers.

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