Brian Spurlock

Duke's Dominance Offers Something For Everyone

Nick Wilson
November 07, 2018 - 3:55 pm

Cats and dogs can’t get along.

Republicans and democrats can’t agree.

Men are from Venus and women from Mars.

There are certain realities we’ve come to acknowledge in the world.

But is there a world where Duke’s fans and their haters can BOTH enjoy the coming regular season?

Duke demolishing Kentucky in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night firmly entrenched both sides in their rhetorical divides as they hunkered down for the long winter.

Blue Devils fans say the recruiting super group of Williamson, Reddish & Barrett proved their dominance a reality and an air of confidence on Coach K’s sixth national title in Durham is already growing.

Duke haters loudly retort, “it’s just one game!”

In actuality, the Cameron Crazies and their opposition both have valid opinions.

The dominance of the freshman trio on Tuesday night was beyond impressive.

Barrett scored 33 points while Williamson proved to be a living, breathing highlight machine and so much more.

They forced a talented Kentucky team into a half-court offense they aren’t suited to excel in while having their own way offensively with the Wildcats defense.

The versatility of the trio proved most remarkable. The 6’6, 285 lbs Williamson ran the offense at one point while Reddish & Barrett hurt Kentucky from inside and out.  

Length, shooting, athleticism. The holy trinity of basketball.

We can run down the list of stock notions that can bring down this Duke team: Egos & NBA aspirations, common injury concerns or their lack of veteran production.

2 of those 3 concerns are valid for any team but you can’t deny the talent oozing from this young trio.

As for the haters, it’s absolutely JUST one game.

Coach K is going to have to keep the egos in check and their eyes off the NBA. This is as much a test for him as it is anyone.

In a fit of frustration, he stripped last year’s team of their right to wear team colors & garb halfway through the season. (They eventually got their clothes back fwiw.)

He also must find a way to get production out of the rest of Duke’s veterans where the depth isn’t as abundant as the obvious talent of the freshman three.

That is precisely the majesty of Duke’s Freshman trio.

They will do things throughout the regular season that will shock and titillate college basketball fans and haters alike.

They are also likely to have a few bumps in the road which will confound Coach K.

Only the depths of said highs and lows is to be debated.

Tuesday night they were flawless in pace and execution, scoring 118 points and committing just 4 turnovers.

Can they keep that balance of pace and execution up? What happens if that answer is no?

Kentucky couldn’t shoot their way out of the half court & break out in transition Tuesday night but what happens when their opponents can? That discipline will be interesting to chart for a young team with limited veteran talent in supply.

Even if their immense talents provide an early boost, how will the heightened pressure of conference play or playoff basketball impact this squad?

Night in and night out, this team will have to prove itself amongst the elites of the ACC and college basketball.

Duke fans will be able to enjoy the highs and their haters the lows.

Regardless of where you stand on the Blue Devil triumvirate, it’s going to be a helluva ride.

Maybe there is hope for cats and dogs yet.

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