In an otherwise uninteresting non-conference game against an overmatched opponent that was only noteworthy because of the protest the visitors opted to put on, No. 5 Duke somehow managed to find a way to be one of the most relevant stories of the day.
That’s because two of the three freshmen that we’ve been waiting so long to see finally made their debut.
And the NBCSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year found his way to the bench.
Jayson Tatum started and looked rusty, finishing with 10 points and eight boards on 2-for-8 shooting in 20 minutes against the Black Bears after having missed the last five weeks with a foot injury. Marques Bolden came off the bench and chipped in with seven points and five boards in 12 minutes.
Both Tatum and Bolden are potential lottery picks this spring, and Tatum has a chance to be the No. 1 pick in the draft.
Grayson Allen did not suit up for the Blue Devils, but that was expected. He’s been battling a toe injury that has sapped his explosiveness, and if it wasn’t for the fact that seemingly everyone else on the Duke roster was injured, Allen likely would’ve been resting that toe and trying to get healthy sooner. Frank Jackson also say this game out.
Luke Kennard led the way for Duke once again on Saturday, finishing with 35 points in a 94-55 win.