Duke Basketball: The R.J. Barrett slander is unnecessary and undeserving

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 31: RJ Barrett #5 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates a basket against the Michigan State Spartans during the second half in the East Regional game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Capital One Arena on March 31, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 31: RJ Barrett #5 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates a basket against the Michigan State Spartans during the second half in the East Regional game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Capital One Arena on March 31, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

R.J. Barrett had one of the best season’s ever in a Duke Basketball uniform and for him to receive major criticism and scrutiny is not right.

R.J. Barrett missed two shots and a free throw at the end of regulation against Michigan State and all of a sudden the a good portion of the Duke fanbase and the national media turned against the 18 year old player.

More specifically, the 18-year-old kid.

More from Ball Durham

When Barrett was not able to get his shots to fall and the Blue Devils fell to the Spartans, fans quickly rushed to Twitter and Instagram to cowardly take their shots at Barrett.

Due to the language used in many of those comments, they cannot be shared in this post.

The day after Duke lost The Athletic, released a perfectly timed “anonymous” article where several reporters asked various and anonymous players around the country a slew of questions about who is the best player in the country, who is the most overrated, etc.

By his peers, R.J. Barrett was voted as the most overrated player is college basketball, followed by his teammates Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish.

This is laugh out loud funny. Apparently 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game, while shooting 45.4% from the field and 30.8% from 3-point range is overrated.

There are 351 team in NCAA Division I Basketball. Since Barrett is on Duke, say there are 350 teams.

If you polled every single coach and/or player asking them if they would want R.J. Barrett on their team, every single person would say ‘yes’, and if they didn’t they would be lying.

R.J. Barrett had the second best season in this history of the Duke Basketball program in terms of scoring, trailing only J.J. Redick who posted an un-worldly 964 points back in 2006.

Barrett almost single handily kept Duke afloat when Zion Williamson went down with a knee sprain, averaging 26.1 points per game.

He reached the first triple double in a win over North Carolina State, becoming the first Duke player to reach the mark since Shelden Williams in 2006 and the fourth player in program history to record a triple-double.

If R.J. Barrett got one of his shots to fall on Sunday in the final seconds this would be a different narrative, but he didn’t, Duke’s season ended, and the nasty fans and Duke haters in the world went to work.

However, the projected No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft and a freshman who had one of the best single seasons ever in the history Duke Basketball is overrated?

If that makes you sleep at night it’s fine by me, but I’ll take R.J. Barrett on my team every single day of the week and twice on Sunday’s.