The “Monstars” of College Hoops

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The “Monstars” of College Hoops

Raymond Rama, Writer

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It’s almost that time of year again. Brackets will be filled out before you know it. 

On an opening night that featured a contest between #2 Kentucky vs. #4 Duke, the two favorites to win the national championship, we’re in for a treat for the rest of the season–and it has yet to disappoint.

Duke and Kentucky are well-known college basketball powerhouses. This year, Duke is loaded with inexperienced one-and-done talent that will most likely end up as lottery picks in next year’s NBA Draft. Duke managed to haul in the Top 3 players from the Class of 2018: Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Cam Reddish. Add another 5-star point guard, brother of former Duke standout Tyus Jones, Tre Jones, to the group, and you have the number one ranked recruiting class in the nation. 

The number three ranked player in the class of 2018, Cam Reddish, got the ball rolling for this “super team” when he committed to Duke on September 1st, 2017. Tre Jones committed a little over a month later on October 13th, 2017. Being the brother of Duke alum Tyus Jones, this was expected. Another month, another 5-star recruit. This time, the number one ranked player in the class of 2018, RJ Barrett. Duke was on top of the world before the 2018-19 season even begun, landing three five star recruits, two being in the top three for the class. And after all of that, there was still one more: on January 20th, 2018, the number two ranked player in the 2018 class, the freak athlete Zion Williamson, committed to Duke.

This recruiting class was unheard of. Four 5-Star recruits, including the top 3 in the class. Later on, 4-star 2019 recruit Joey Baker reclassed and enrolled in Duke early. Combining these five with sophomores Alex O’Connell and Jordan Goldwire and juniors Jack White, Javin DeLaurier, and former 5-star Center Marques Bolden, Duke has an impressive roster that can surely make waves in college basketball.

The talent this roster contains could lead to this team being known as one of the greatest teams to play in college history. Despite the flashy offensive play Duke has, the defense has been subpar during their preseason matches. However, that did not matter on opening as Duke went on to defeat #2 ranked Kentucky 118-84. This was the largest defeat ever suffered by Kentucky head coach, John Calipari. Calipari said, “They were just better than us. I told my team I got outcoached and you guys got outplayed. We’ll watch the tape and move on.” Duke freshmen Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish, and RJ Barrett combined to score 83 points. “They’re a very good team,” Calipari said. “If they play like that, they’re not losing many, if that’s who they are.” This team definitely lived up to the hype in game one, which could be scary for the rest of college basketball world.

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