The best plays from Zion Williamson's Duke debut

Lynette Rowe
November 8, 2018

Which Duke standout would you draft with the first pick?

That team went 38-0, and if it wasn't for an absolutely loaded Wisconsin team picking them off in the Final Four, they would have played for a national title with an undefeated, 40-0 season on the line.

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RJ Barrett scored 33 points and Zion Williamson tallied 28 points to lead 4th-ranked Duke to a 118-84 victory over 2nd-ranked Kentucky in the Wildcats' Regular-season opener as part of the State Farm Champions Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Barrett was 13 of 26 from the field while Williamson was 11 of 13 with seven rebounds. "Jack had 11 rebounds and guarded [Tyler] Herro and played tough, just played really tough, so we're proud of the win". "We know what we have".

"What's for certain is that Williamson is something we've never seen before, and while some teams may be afraid to take the chance, others will see enormous potential".

Although the Blue Devils' early lead quickly silenced Big Blue Nation, Duke will need a vocal leader on the court to keep everyone's heads in check for ACC road games.

But Duke closed the half getting easy baskets from Barrett, off a pass from Jones, and Bolden, off a pass from Barrett, to lead 59-42 at intermission. Kentucky shaved the deficit to 12 on one occasion and 13 on another but could get no closer.

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"They told us that every game we go to is going to be like that", freshman R.J. Barrett said of the leadership White and fellow captain Javin DeLaurier provided. "I haven't lost faith in my guys". We rounded up the best of Williamson's debut.

Kansas 92, Michigan St. 87 - Quentin Grimes and Dedric Lawson made quite an impression. The Wildcats are a perpetually young team but actually the more experienced team as they likely will start two freshmen to Duke's four.

"[Grimes] came out with a free mind and played his game, " Lawson said. "He's a very talented player as are all the players on their team". He finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Kansas picked up its third straight victory in the Classic and improved to 15-1 in openers under coach Bill Self - on a night the Jayhawks were in control nearly the entire way.

"Obviously, we have to learn to close out games, " Self said.

"This game was supposed to (feature) the top two recruiting classes".

Duke led 34-13 with 10:37 left in the first half.

That didn't change and the United Kingdom coach didn't try to sugarcoat how poorly his team played.

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