When it comes to Duke men’s basketball, you either love them or you hate them. There’s few and far between. But when it comes to Coach Krzyzewski, you respect the living hell out of him. The accolades go on and on: five NCAA championships, 12 ACC regular season titles, 14 ACC tournament championships, three Olympic gold medals as the head coach of the men’s Oylmpic basketball coach, along with being the winningest head coach in college basketball history with 1,027 wins and counting.
All of these accolades and he hasn’t even had one of those one of a kind basketball talents that goes on to the NBA and just dominates for years and wins championship after championship. Sure, Grant Hill was suppose to be that way and could have been, but we will never know after his entire career was plagued by injuries. He also had Kyrie Irving, arguably the second best point guard in the league right now. But, he only had him eight games before injury sidelined him for the rest of his freshmen year. Then he declared for the draft. Coach K now has the top two, hell even possibly top three, draft picks in next years draft playing for his team this year.
November 6, 2018. If you’re a fan of sports, you’ve more than likely seen the incredible YouTube videos of the 6’7, 285 pound freak athlete, Zion Williamson, throwing down insane dunks for what seems like years now. He’s a freak athlete. Of course he’s going to dominate high school kids that are usually half his size. But, once he gets to college he won’t dominate the same, right? Wrong. Against the number two team in the Kentucky Wildcats, Zion went 11/13 from the field, 1/1 from three for 28 points, also adding in 7 boards and a pair of assists. Pretty good for what many considered just a dunker.
Zion wasn’t even Dukes top scorer, though. That honor goes to fellow freshmen R.J. Barrett, who put up 33 points shooting 3/7 from behind the arc. He added 4 boards and 6 assists. Cam Reddish, the third member of this three headed monster from Duke had a quiet 22 points. Duke’s three freshmen scored 83 points between the three of them. Duke beat Kentucky 118-84. Now, remember Kentucky was the number two team in the country! These three freshmen almost scored as much as the entire number two team in the country did! There’s a reason these kids were ranked number one through three on ESPN’s top 150 high school players, and after that game they showed that they deserved it.
A Chance At History?
Coach K now has arguably the three best players in college basketball. After watching them handle Kentucky like they did, is it possible for an undefeated season and a tournament run leading to an NCAA championship? Let’s be real, they are not losing a game in November or December. Their only competition is a young, unranked Indiana team that could turn into something. But the Hoosiers play Duke this month and I don’t see them having a way to guard one, let alone all three of this three-headed monster Duke has. Sure, Duke has Virginia and North Carolina in the ACC, but I just don’t see anybody having the pieces to be able to match up with this team. Kentucky was suppose to be a great match-up for Duke and as we all saw, they took an absolute ass beating by college basketball’s version of the Monstars.
Let’s think logical here. In the history of the men’s NCAA tournament, since expanding to 64 teams, nobody has ever went through their regular season, their conference tournament, and then the NCAA tournament without suffering a single loss. That’s because that’s a lot of games for kids (yes, I said kids), They’re bound to mess up or get tired during the season. Men’s college basketball starts in November and ends in March, most of these teams travel thousands of miles every season. That alone can take affect on the players mentality. So if we are being logical, there’s no way Coach K can take this team, lead by three 18 year old kids, to an undefeated regular season, sweep their conference tournament, and then win the big dance right?
Duke Doesn’t Lose
Unlikely? Sure. Impossible? Hell no. You heard it here, I don’t see anybody taking down this team this year. We just watched the number two team in the country get its ass absolutely smacked on national television. “But Duke has to play North Carolina and Roy Williams at least twice.” Correct, but you tell me how they’re going to guard all three of these kids? I don’t see a way! I think a lot of teams will try to double Zion sure, but all that does is leave Barrett and Reddish with more space open to knock down threes, or to drive to the basket with smaller, weaker guys guarding them. Mark my words, Duke will be the first team to go undefeated and win the big dance since the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams.