The Duke Blue Devils' life without Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett began on Tuesday night, as they kicked off the 2019-20 NCAA Basketball season against the Kansas Jayhawks in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden.
The No. 4 Blue Devils narrowly defeated the No. 3 Jayhawks 68-66. While a win is a win, Duke should have solidified victory more decisively, considering Kansas committed 27 turnovers.
Kansas gift-wrapped the victory for Duke, yet the Blue Devils couldn't capitalize.
The statistics don't lie when looking at the low point total for the Blue Devils. Out of 63 shot attempts from the field, Duke successfully made 23 of them, netting them a 36.5 field goal percentage. If there was a theme for the Blue Devils, it was failing to take advantage of opportunities in the open court off turnovers.
Duke's leading scorer on the night was guard Tre Jones, who netted 15 points, but it came from shooting 35.7-percent from the field (5-of-14).
If a college basketball team is committing as many turnovers as the Kansas Jayhawks did in New York City, Duke should have won in an absolute blowout. This is something for them to work on throughout the long season. Thankfully for Duke, it's only the first game of the year, and they have plenty of time to correct these flaws before they face the likes of UNC, Maryland and Virginia in the crowded ACC.