The college basketball season has commenced and last night we saw four blue blood programs facing off in the eighth year of the Champions Classic. The night cap of the double-header was the one to watch, as #4 Duke faced off against #2 Kentucky. These two teams came into the season with the top two recruiting classes and the new faces shined last night for Duke, not so much Kentucky.
Duke somehow signed three of the top four recruits in college basketball last season: Cam Reddish, R.J. Barrett, and Zion Williamson. All three of these young freshman scored over 20 points (32 for Barrett, 22 for Reddish, and 28 for Williamson) and dominated the Kentucky Wildcats all game. The game was never close as Duke put up 59 points at the end of the first half on the way to their 118-84 route of the Wildcats.
How Duke's ranking slipped down to fourth is beyond me, with these three phenomenal talents all playing in the same lineup, Duke has to be the favorite for the rest of the season. This was a big time win for the Blue Devils, and it didn't come against a cupcake lower level team like usual, it was against one of the best teams in the country.
Kentucky who has experience in their Senior transfer Reid Travis along with returning players like P.J. Washington and Quade Green was favored to win the game last night, but couldn't keep up with the Blue Devils' offense. Travis was among the top scorers for Kentucky, posting 22 in his debut in the blue and white. The Wildcats were led by freshman wing player Keldon Johnson with 23 points, sharpshooter Tyler Herro also dropped 14 in the losing effort.
Zion Williamson showed why he was the top recruit in the class, not just pulling out impressive dunks, but stretching the floor and showing he can shoot jumpers as well. If Williamson can consistently make shots from outside the paint, it would almost be impossible to guard him on a nightly basis.
The college basketball season is a long one, and as long as you make it into the NCAA Tournament, the regular season doesn't mean much. But after that opening dominant performance from Duke, they have to be on a lot of people's radar to cut down the nets in March.