Zion Williamson didn’t even know LeBron James showed up at Duke’s 81-71 victory at Virginia on Saturday, but that just shows you how locked in the Blue Devils superstar freshmen were to complete the season sweep of last year’s ACC champions.
Williamson’s gravity-defying block on De’Andre Hunter’s corner three-point attempt in the second half was LeBronesque.
So was the performance of R.J. Barrett, who scored 26 points to lead Duke improving to 21-2 and 9-1 in the league. Barrett and Cam Reddish combined for 11-for-18 shooting from three-point range.
Williamson, Barrett, Reddish and Apple Valley native and point guard Tre Jones combined for 74 of the team’s 81 points Saturday against arguably the top defensive team in the country.
Jones injured his shoulder and was sidelined in the only game Duke lost this season in overtime against Syracuse, but he’s back and playing arguably better defense than any guard in the country.
We already know what kind of star power Williamson and Barrett have to bring out the world’s best baller to watch them play, but now Coach K’s team is showing it can shoot three-pointers and play impressive defense.
The question is moving forward if Virginia can’t beat Duke who can?
Here are my five games that could give the Blue Devils the most trouble remaining in the regular season:
No. 1 and No. 2 – Duke is in a tie with North Carolina for first place in the ACC, but it can take care of that with two games left against the Tar Heels on Feb. 20 at home and March 9 on the road.
No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 – The Blue Devils’ next game appears to be pretty tough at Louisville on Tuesday. The Cardinals have the athleticism and length to cause problems for Williamson inside. Road road games at Syracuse on Feb. 23 and at Virginia Tech on Feb. 26 might also be potential close games to test these Fab Four freshmen in the final stretch of ACC play.