Fantastic freshmen help No. 4 Duke blow out No. 2 Kentucky

Marcus Newton
November 10, 2018

The Spartans are 4-21 all-time against No. 1 ranked teams. The Spartans had four players reach double figures in the point column, including guards Joshua Langford, Matt McQuaid and Cassius Winston with 18, 12 and 13, respectively.

It sure didn't look like it would be so close after Kansas withstood Michigan State's early three-point flurry.

Kansas: The Jayhawks demonstrated why they earned the top ranking.

A big factor in the amount of points produced by the Spartans was their success from long range, as they sank 12 3-point shots on a 52 percent clip.

Watching Duke Blue Devils' freshmen R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish, and Tre Jones go over, under through, and around Kentucky in last night's 118-84 win over Kentucky in the Champions Classic Indianapolis, I had one thought.

Coach John Calipari did it again, bringing in perhaps the most talented recruiting class, even considering that the Wildcats did miss out on mega-prospect Zion Williamson, who ended up opting to join Duke. Both Barrett and Williamson broke the record for most points scored for a freshman on their debut, eclipsing the previous mark of 25 points set by Marvin Bagley III. "I probably can't say anything more".

They've defeated Duke both times they've played, and even upended Kentucky once in three tries, but beat Michigan State they haven't and that has to bother Jayhawks fans. That 74-54 loss to UMBC last March, they insisted lead-ing into the opener, was the furthest thing from their mind. However, a clean bill of health, recent praise from the coaching staff, and a solid exhibition performance with 15 points, six rebounds and three blocks in the final contest offers some hope entering the new season. The Eagles' output was the lowest since the Carrier Dome opened in 1980. The Boilermakers went on separate 14-0 and 7-0 runs in the first half and built a comfortable 17-point halftime edge.

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Missouri's defense took care of the rest, limiting the Bears to 33 percent shooting. Nobody should be that naive to believe everything people say or take it all to heart. We gave up 51 in the second half, so he was pretty intense about that.

The offense missed the versatility of sophomore forward Jontay Porter.

The weird scene of Kentucky fans overtaking a contest between KU and No. 10-ranked Michigan State seemed fitting of a peculiar debut for the new-look and top-ranked Jayhawks, who muscled their way to a 17-point lead with 11:53 to play, almost blew it thanks to a toxic mix of missed free throws and defensive lapses, but nevertheless escaped with a 92-87 victory.

Actually, it was just 59 that Duke scored in the first half, but what did it matter.

UAPB outrebounded San Diego State 37 35, but committed 18 turnovers, which the Aztecs turned into 26 points. Udoka Azubuike finished with 17 points. Tyler Herro had 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists but most of his numbers came well after the game was out of hand.

The preseason No. 1 picked up a big win Tuesday. Freshman guard Maegan Parham led Central Baptist with 11 points, including 3 three-pointers. Reddish scored 22 points, made three three-pointers and was a flawless seven of seven from the foul line. The Spartans were outrebounded 42-40 and 11-5 on the offensive end.

Kansas forward Dedric Lawson (1) fights for a rebound with Michigan State forward Xavier Tillman (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketb.

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