Duke Freshman R.J. Barrett Jr. returns home for the Duke Canada Tour. The tour will begin with a friendly exhibition match between the Duke Blue Devils and Ryerson Rams. The Blue Devils will also square off against the UofT Blues and McGill University during their international tour. This is the first time that Duke has ever been to Toronto, and with that being said Coach K. looks to make his statement on Canadian soil. The Blue Devils will be led by their top heavy freshman class, that includes projected lottery picks for the 2019 NBA Draft (RJ Barrett Jr., Zion Williamson). The tandem of Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett Jr. will be of sight to see all season in the NCAA. Canadian native Barrett Jr. will get his taste of college basketball as he suit up for his first game as a Blue Devil. He's been praised as the saviour for Canada basketball, leading their national program to its first gold medal in International play.
Just a couple months ago, R.J. Barrett suited up for Coach Rana on the Sr. Men's national team. This time around R.J. and Coach Rana will be on opposing sides as they match up in the opening game of the Canadian Tour. This is a special opportunity for the Duke Blue Devil as it being their first international tour in over 10 years; the team will get to build some commodore on some Canadian soil. This will be a good test for Coach K's squad, given the fact that they haven't played a regulation game all summer, he has high hopes for his Blue Devils in hindsight. Coach K is looking forward to the seeing his Squad come together when the lights are on and in front of the packed house of 5,400. Let see if Coach K will come out victorious and add anther win to his historical list of his.
On Wednesday night, The Duke Blue Devils cruised to an 86-67 win over the Ryerson Rams. Barrett Jr. had a game-high 34 points in his college debut, while Zion Williamson added 29 and 13 rebounds; these two young stars dominated the show. Coach K and his projected lottery picks had the upper hand outscoring the Rams 25-11 in the second quarter Kudos to The Ryerson Rams who fought hard all game, J.V. Mukama led their team in scoring with 20 points and 12 rebounds. In the end, Duke was too much to handle inside the paint with the presence of Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett Jr. Ryerson had no answer. The Blue Devils will head into game 2 vs. UofT Varsity Blues on Friday night.
Duke delivered a win for R.J. Barrett's coming out party and was done in stellar fashion, as for the Ryerson Rams they go back to the drawing boards in preparation for their 2018-19 USports season; they definitely got a taste of what the NCAA is all about. Duke is one the elite programs in the NCAA and with so much history behind their program, it's great to witness what Coach K has built over the decades. Coach K led Duke to 5 NCAA titles, over 1070 wins and solidified the Blue devils program as a storied program.
Thanks: ESPN, Canada Basketball, DukeMBB, Sportnet
Athletes: R.J. Barrett Jr. (@rjbarrett), Zion Williamson (@zionlw10)