The college basketball season kicked off Tuesday, featuring a huge matchup between No.4 Duke and No. 2 Kentucky.
While the game was expected to be tightly-contested, the Blue Devils ran away with a dominating 118-84 win. Kentucky was trailing by double-digits for pretty much the entire game and Duke's core of elite freshman simply overpowered Calipari's Wildcats.
The young Duke team played surprisingly well together as a unit, showing outstanding chemistry for a team featuring so many prominent freshmen. Here are four surprising stats about Duke's massive season opening showdown against Kentucky.
4. 4 Duke Freshmen Combined to Outscore Kentucky
Duke recruited arguably the single best freshman class in the history of college basketball this offseason and the players showed why they earned that title. Freshmen Cam Reddish, Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Tre Jones combined for 89 points in the outing, outscoring the Wildcats' total of 84.
Barrett led the way with 33 points on 13-for-26 shooting, while Zion tacked on 28 on a highly efficient 11-for-13 from the field. Reddish put up 22 points and Jones added six points and seven assists.
3. Duke Scored the Most Points Ever on Calipari
The Blue Devils offense was in cruise control throughout the entire game, as their star players seamlessly found ways to score. They totaled 118 points, which was the largest amount of points scored against a John Calipari team in his college coaching career. The Wildcats defense simply had no answers for the unrelenting attack of the Blue Devils' offense. They allowed 59 points in each half, as Duke didn't slow down until the final whistle. Duke shot 43-for-79 as a team from the field and knocked down 12 three-pointers.
2. Zion and R.J. Both Broke Duke Freshman Scoring Records
Entering Tuesday night's game, Marvin Bagley III held Duke's all-time freshman scoring record for a season opener. In 2017, Bagley dropped 25 points against Elon in Duke's first game of the season last year, but he was surpassed by both Williamson and Barrett on Tuesday. Hate to see such a long-held record fall, but hey, that's modern basketball.
Williamson scored 28 points in 23 minutes on the floor, while Barrett scored 33 points in 32 minutes. What's more is that the pair was playing against much higher competition and still managed to shatter Bagley's record.
1. Duke's Highest Score Against Ranked Opponent in 20+ Years
The last time Duke put up more than 118 points against a ranked opponent came all the way back in 1998 when they scored 120 against 12th-ranked UCLA. That Duke team featured players such as Elton Brand, Shane Battier and Roshown McLeod. The current Blue Devils team could easily be better than the 1997-98 team, which had five players make it to the NBA. With Barrett, Reddish and Williamson leading the way, Duke is a team to be feared this season in college hoops.