Duke Basketball: Introducing R.J. Barrett as “The Canadian Showstopper”

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 27: RJ Barrett #5 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after a play against the Indiana Hoosiers during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 27, 2018 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 27: RJ Barrett #5 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after a play against the Indiana Hoosiers during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 27, 2018 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Duke Basketball freshman star R.J. Barrett is carrying not only the weight of being a star in Durham, but the pressure of being the next international basketball superstar and he is up for the challenge.

From the shores of Lake Ontario, that’s where the Canadian hoops star first gained his eminence on the hardwood at St. Marcellinus Secondary School, a public high school in Mississauga, Ontario.

Shortly after, the 6-foot-7 freshman attended Montverde Academy, a prep school in Florida.

In fact, it’s the same prep school NBA star and Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons played at.

Fans, it’s no coincidence why he’s considered a top NBA lottery pick. Montverde Academy and its Head Basketball Coach, Kevin Boyle, are no strangers for producing NBA talent.

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Just look at Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell, along with Simmons and their prominence at the NBA level, to go along with former Duke and current Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving who played for Boyle at St. Patrick’s High School in Hillside, New Jersey.

Amazingly, R.J. Barrett weighs 202 pounds, with a lengthy wingspan and shoots a tremendous three ball.

And I can’t forget about the alley-oop dunks.

Raining three pointers, that pours on anyone who guards him one-on-one. Barrett’s trey ball falls on his defenders like a tropical rainstorm.

Duke has three other freshmen to assist him in that rainstorm, Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish, and Tre Jones.

Outside of pouring three’s, R.J. Barrett is the showstopper for Duke Basketball this season.

Why? And what makes him a showstopper this year in college hoops?

First and foremost, Barrett was a five-star prospect, McDonald’s All-American, Naismith Prep Player of the Year, Gatorade National Player of the Year and consensus No. 1 player in high school according to several recruiting services.

In addition to being the nation’s top prospect, Barrett lead Canada’s 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup to a gold medal, finishing with 38 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists against Kentucky Wildcat head coach John Calipari‘s United States squad.

Winning a gold medal, is just one area of distinction.

Last February 2017, Barrett attained MVP honors at Basketball Without Borders during NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.

However, before he inked his signature with the Blue Devils, the 6-foot-7 sharpshooter had a bundle of scholarship offers from the nation’s top programs.

According to ESPN.com, Barrett had offers from Kentucky, Arizona, Kansas, Indiana, Oregon, UCLA, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, and USC.

His Montverde Academy team went undefeated during the 2017-18, a season where he was the leading scorer in the GEICO National Championship finishing with a game-high 25 points and 15 rebounds.

Moving forward from high school, Barrett has smoothly made the transition to the college game and is averaging 23.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game for the Blue Devils.

Astonishing as it may seem, Barrett is Duke’s leading scorer after two phenomenal performances recently against the Indiana Hoosiers and the Stetson Hatters.

Against the Hoosiers, Barrett finished with 22 points, nine rebounds, and an assist, where the Blue Devils defeated Indiana 90-69.

Last Saturday, Barrett led Duke with 26 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in a blowout victory against Stetson 113-49.

The star freshman has become a vocal leader for the Blue Devils this season.

Barrett plays with high energy, and compassion. He’s just a meticulous basketball player, with high IQ, and his keenness for the game, is something he innately possesses.

Once again, a 6-foot-7 sharpshooter that gives opposing defenses rainstorms every night from beyond the arc.

A rainstorm with a high precipitation of three-pointers.

There’s three other freshmen, who’s a part of that tropical rainstorm in Williamson, Reddish, and Jones.

But R.J. Barrett leads the pack.

Duke Blue Devils fans, keep a close eye out for R.J. “The Showstopper” Barrett this season in college hoops.

Inevitably, Barrett’s three-point baskets pour like a rainstorm.

Now, there isn’t a clear measurement of precipitation for the “Showstopper”, but when he releases the ball from deep, it’s nothing but RAIN.