Duke basketball: 3 studs, 2 duds following win over Kentucky

Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball center Mark Williams (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball duds in victory over Kentucky: 

Mark Williams

Aside from any newcomer to Durham, Mark Williams had the most hype surrounding him entering the season because of his stellar end to his freshman campaign.

However, Williams’ sophomore season started much like his freshman year.

The 7-footer was overmatched physically by college basketball veteran, and Kentucky newcomer, Oscar Tshiebwe.

Tshiebwe posted 17 points and 19 rebounds, 12 of which came on the offensive end.

The Kentucky center is listed at just 6-foot-9.

Willams only had five points and seven rebounds in just 18 minutes of action while committing three fouls.

Mark Williams will still be a key factor for Duke this season and determining how long the Blue Devils will play, but the fact still remains that Marquette transfer Theo John was the better center for the Blue Devils on opening night.

Joey Baker

Much like Mark Williams, it just did not seem like the game fit the style of Joey Baker.

Baker finished with two points, both coming at the free throw line, and missed his only 2-point shot attempt of the night as well as his lone attempt from 3-point territory.

Duke needs the senior guard to be a spot-up shooter and not be shy about letting his shot fly when he gets the ball passed to him.

Clearly, there is nothing to be overly concerned about after 40 minutes of basketball, but the Blue Devils do have some things to clean up as the non-conference schedule hits a bit of a lull until the week of Thanksgiving.

NOTE: The next ‘Studs and Duds’ column will be after the Blue Devils complete both games of the Duke Veteran’s Day Classic on Friday night against Army and on Saturday evening against Campbell. 

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