December 19, 2018
The hype surrounding Duke’s 2018 recruiting class this year is arguably the biggest since Michigan’s Fab 5 in the early 90’s. Duke’s lineup this year has been regarded as the most loaded team ever in its history with the top three ranked prospects of last years class, and the number 9 on top of all of that.
Players like the freakishly athletic 6’7 and 285 pound big man Zion Williamson, the 6’7, 200 pound slashing point forward RJ Barrett, and lastly Cameron Reddish a 6’8, 220 pound highly versatile small forward, are all the main components to Duke’s current hype this year.
The question is can Duke live up to the hype and when all said is done, will they be champions?
So far, Duke is currently 9-1 which places them first in the Atlantic Coast Conference and second in the AP Top 25 right underneath the 9-0 Kansas Jayhawks. Offensively, Duke as a team is averaging a solid 93 points per game with a 50 percent field goal percentage, a decent 33 percent outside the perimeter and a 65 percent free throw rating. Defensively on the other hand Duke is holding opposing teams to a low 65.7 points on the average (37 percent) , 11.1 steals per game, and 7.5 blocks per game.
Duke’s star Freshmen RJ Barrett is having a great year so far averaging 24.2 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game and 4.2 assists per game. Zion Williamson another freshmen and piece to Duke’s success this year is averaging 20.2 points, 9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Duke’s third best player Cameron Reddish averaging 14.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.
Duke’s Offense this year is something very different from previous years, due to its faster and more exciting play style. “An interesting thing for our team is that we have four guys that can bring the ball up the court on a miss. And they’re all playmakers. These guys can make plays for one another and that’s an unusual mix,” said Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski. When asked student Petros Tareke (Freshmen at Lotus) on his opinion on how Duke is playing this year he replied “Watching Duke play this year is special, it’s very fast paced and exciting at all times because they never let up even with a big lead, it’s gas no breaks regardless.”
Duke still has a long road ahead of them with inevitable obstacles coming their way, but can they pull through it all? They definitely have a lot of potential and talent spread across their roster but a big target on their back. Time will tell, but keep an eye out for Duke as they are coming hard to tackle any competition heading their way.