Duke Hands Kentucky’s John Calipari Worst Loss Of His Coaching Career

Duke Hands Kentucky’s John Calipari Worst Loss Of His Coaching Career

"They told us that every game we go to is going to be like that", freshman R.J. Barrett said of the leadership White and fellow captain Javin DeLaurier provided.

Duke's four freshmen starters scored the Blue Devils' first four field goals, with Jones, Reddish and Williamson hitting 3-pointers and Barrett a shot in the lane as Duke led 11-4. The Wildcats were outscored 60-38 in the paint. Duke's physical advantage over, again, a team with multiple future first-round picks on it was so startling I find myself questioning, in the warm light of day, if I really saw what I thought I saw last night - a massacre that wasn't so much cold-blooded as accidental. "They responded. They were magnificent tonight". The Blue Devils are going to dominate college basketball coverage this year, and that will get exhausting.

Kentucky only got as close as 27 until the waning moments.

After making it 59-42 at halftime, Duke kept pulling away throughout the second half.

One of the biggest keys to Duke's statement win against Kentucky didn't come from the Class of 2022, though, but rather a junior who rarely saw the floor in his first two seasons.

Having a captain that can provide valuable minutes on both ends of the court will be crucial for the Blue Devils, as a lineup composed primarily of freshmen could run into some mental errors in truly hostile environments.

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Keldon Johnson led the Wildcats with 23 points while Reid Travis added 22 points. He also added six assists and four rebounds. It was as bad a night as United Kingdom has ever experienced in a high-profile game. The Jayhawks never trailed in the second half. It will be interesting to see how United Kingdom bounces back from this one.

But in a game that was basically one giant Duke run - literally, as the Blue Devils created one fast break after another, resulting from their 10 steals and the Wildcats' 15 turnovers (Duke had only four), opening with a 27-10 advantage and outscoring Kentucky by the same 59-42 margin in both halves - it wasn't just the freshmen who were almost ideal. The game marked the first time Kentucky faced a ranked opponent in a season opener since a 79-71 overtime loss to Clemson in 1995.

4-4 - The Cats' record in the Champions Classic.

No other Duke basketball team in history has ever scored 118 points in a game that was played outside the friendly confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium (117 was the previous high, set by the 1988-89 squad during a win at Miami in which Danny Ferry scored a school-record 58 points).

Duke: The Blue Devils only committed four turnovers compared with Kentucky's 15.

59 - Points in a half tied for the most United Kingdom has surrendered under Calipari in a half (Texas A&M, 2018).