Reddish has not been forgotten despite his teammates’ epic performances in Canada, a trip in which Reddish’s groin injury held him out. He is expected to be ready for the start of the season but there’s not been any report that he has joined practice other than that he wouldn’t at the start, though this isn’t the NFL where they give injury reports every 2 days. At least he appears better in this video. Bleed blue. Team picture was Monday!
I crash your first week of college football for some college basketball news: Duke starts limited practices this week! They took a break after last month’s trip to Canada and the Devils are back in action on Labor Day. The NCAA allows four hours of practice per week at this time of year (as Coach K has emphasized before, practice limits suck).
Over at SI, Emily Caron has a solid piece up on Duke’s freshman PG Tre Jones Duke fans will want to read. https://t.co/eHDxpkja00
The bad news? Cam Reddish will not. Just saying, I’m not picking him over Zion or Zion over him: I haven’t been able to actually evaluate him. But this video highlights him well. His sore groin is still hindering him, and missing practice time, especially when we are allowed so little (NCAA, you need to address this), is irritating. Cam is really, really good, as DBR reminds us: some have focused so much on RJ and Zion after they brought the house down in Canada that they’ve practically forgotten the guy. He’s an incredibly talented player and people will almost certainly remember him when he starts playing. Alex O’Connell will also miss time and will not be able to get started on Monday. Alex suffered an orbital bone fracture against Ryerson and had a successful surgery to repair it. Alex has grown a lot (both physically and figuratively) in his game and will be an asset that we need as the season approaches.
Capping off their unbeaten Canadian tour, the Blue Devils won in a beating of the McGill Redman, but the score doesn’t tell the whole story. McGill played a very impressive first half, despite Duke’s offensive dominance. They trailed only by one at the start of the second quarter, after leading for most of the first. Kudos to them for a game well played. It may not look it, but they fought valiantly and didn’t truly give up until the final horn sounded.
Guys across the board performed well. Take Jordan Goldwire, for instance. Despite a few instances where he tried for spectacularity instead of simplicity, he passed the ball well and had a good shooting night. Javin DeLaurier defended very well, as per usual. His role for the group is increasing by the minute played. Antonio Vrankovic defended and scored well in the post, using his size and skill to lead down low and has shown incredible growth. Justin Robinson got lots of playing time, which will help his role continue to expand. Jack White made some huge leaps (literally, his rebounds were way up in the air) and played the ball well. There was also an all-around intensity: guys were diving for loose balls, getting tough rebounds, doing the dirty work that makes everything look good. Marques is also my prediction for a breakout player. He’s been hobbled by injuries, but this year he’s in position to dominate in the starting lineup.
Then you’ve got the incredible, incredible freshmen. It was the Zion Williamson show today, as he had 36 points and 14 rebounds even though he sat with about eight minutes remaining (I think). RJ and Zion put on a show in Canada and we’re hoping it continues in November.
Bleed blue. After getting a taste of this year’s star power, we have to wait until OCTOBER? How cruel.
In their second and last game in Toronto, Duke took a great game from guys across the board and put it into a 96-60 rout of the University of Toronto. Unfortunately, I only got to see the first half of what looks like was a really, really good game overall. Yet again, the freshmen Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett were scary, scoring 35 and 24 points respectively, but the best part was the competitiveness and drive that the entire team showed together. They played determined on defense, despite a few mistakes, which is natural for a young, growing team. Guys like Javin DeLaurier, Marques Bolden, Antonio Vrankovic, J-Rob, Jack White, and rookie Joey Baker (JB) had great games. Also, Brennan Besser, who hasn’t played much in his three years at Duke, came in later in the game and played with huge intensity. He’s always been a team guy and we’re proud of him for that. He deserves the minutes he got in this game and he put them to use. Great for him.
Error: Score was previously listed as 90-66. Actual score was 96-60
R.J. Barrett Scary at Home
Shoutout to all of our Bull City residents: Let’s make R.J. Barrett feel as at home in Durham as he does in Missassagua. At home, he’s had back-to-back 30+ point games, He started the series with a monster dunk and simply never looked back. During this game, Barrett had 35 points and 9 rebounds, plus a few smart assists. He’s going to be fun to watch come the regular season.
People across the sports world have come to a consensus: Zion Williamson is even better than we imagined. He’s an elite scorer, but there’s way more to his game than dunks (as electrifying as they may be; see above). He’s a smart passer, his athleticism makes him a remarkably good rebounder, and his basketball IQ is very, very high.
Due to injury, Cam Reddish (groin) and Tre Jones (hip) will not play in Canada. The Blue Devils play three exhibition games up north, starting tonight at 7pm versus Ryerson. But it looks like Jones and Reddish are having fun anyway:
But in all seriousness, we forget that Cam Reddish does play some point guard and especially without Jones, that position will be thinned out, especially down two lead players. But with Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett out there, there will be plenty of star power to go around. Basketball stuff aside, though, Canada looks fun.
Bleed blue. 11 hours, 21 minutes left until the game tonight!
The featured image on the homepage is courtesy of Duke Athletics.
ESPN+ will be streaming Duke’s Canadian tour next month. “+” costs $4.95 per month (which you can buy for just the month of August if you want). Duke will take on Ryerson University on August 15 (7pm), the University of Toronto on August 17 (7pm), and McGill University on August 19 (3pm).
In addition to the tour, ESPN+ will also hold a documentary series, “Earn Everything”, about Duke’s training programs. We’ve had a few inside looks but no full episodes from the Official Duke Men’s Basketball Twitter, but otherwise you’ll, again, have to buy ESPN+ to be able to watch it.