Captain Jack White displays leadership and vast improvement for Duke men's basketball

ESPN's matchup predictor for Duke Kentucky NCAA Men's Basketball

ESPN's matchup predictor for Duke Kentucky NCAA Men's Basketball

The Blue Devils, however, may have issues with their depth going forward as they received very little from their non-freshmen and from their reserves until garbage time.

Duke: Marvin Bagley III held the previous mark for points by a freshman in his debut with 25. Kentucky shaved the deficit to 12 on one occasion and 13 on another but could get no closer.

Barrett was 13 of 26 from the field with six assists and four rebounds, and Williamson went 11 of 13 from the field with seven rebounds.

But in a game that was basically one giant Duke run - literally, as the Blue Devils created one fast break after another, resulting from their 10 steals and the Wildcats' 15 turnovers (Duke had only four), opening with a 27-10 advantage and outscoring Kentucky by the same 59-42 margin in both halves - it wasn't just the freshmen who were almost ideal.

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.

Williamson, Barrett and Reddish combined for 45 points in the first half, outscoring Kentucky's entire squad by three, and it was a 20-minute window filled with highlight plays.

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

More news: Boeing to issue safety warning to pilots for 737 Max jets
More news: Taylor Swift Loses Tennessee Senate Race
More news: Top 5 things WI voters should know for elections

Kentucky: Tyler Herro was the only other player to reach double figures. They combined for 83 points on the night, nearly outscoring the Wildcats' entire roster. They shot 53.8 percent from the field, knocked down 12 3-pointers and ran away from Kentucky in the first half. Udoka Azubuike (17 points, 4 blocks) also played well in his limited minutes, and Devon Dotson (16 points, 3 assists, 3 steals) showed promise in his college debut.

The Blue Devils didn't stop with that flurry.

"It's tough when you go down like that", Travis said. "As we mature, we'll be able to stop those blows and flip it".

That overall display - in a game that the Blue Devils entered as a slight underdog - is sure to be the primary topic amongst college basketball fans at water coolers in offices across the country for days to come.

Duke: "Every game will be like that". "It'll be there every night".

Kentucky hosts Southern Illinois in the Wildcats' regular-season home opener Friday night at 6 p.m.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.