Duke basketball: 4 studs, 2 duds from signature win over No. 1 Gonzaga

Duke basketball (Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball forwards Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball players who were studs against Gonzaga

Paolo Banchero

In a matchup against his personal rival, Paolo Banchero won the matchup between himself and Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren.

Holmgren was the only player ranked ahead of the Blue Devil freshman in the Class of 2021 recruiting rankings, and the two players are the favorites to be the top two selections in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Banchero posted 20 points in the first half before he dealt with cramping in the second half and finished with 21 points on the night.

The Seattle native also posted five rebounds, two assists, and a steal in the victory on 8-of-17 shooting from the field and 3-of-8 from downtown.

Mark Williams

Mark Williams had the toughest challenge of all on Friday night.

His matchup either consisted of All-American Drew Timme or the uber-talented Holmgren.

Williams not only held his own but dominated with 17 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks on 8-of-9 shooting as his only miss came on a 3-point field goal attempt.

After a slow start to the season, Mark Williams has grown into the same form he had at the end of his freshman year, and his emergence has allowed Duke to jump to the top team in the nation.

Wendell Moore

The captain did captain things once again as Wendell Moore paced Duke with 20 points, six rebounds, six assists, and four steals on 6-of-10 shooting as he closed out the game with clutch free throws.

Moore continues to be a rock star for this Blue Devil squad, and his progression has him in the early conversation for the ACC Player of the Year as well as some chatter around the National Player of the Year.

Mike Krzyzewski

The old guy still has it.

Friday night was a master class in coaching from Mike Krzyzewski.

He didn’t come up with some master game plan or some bizarre strategy to win the game.

Krzyzewski simply coached his team while managing the rotations and injuries perfectly in a game where his team was nearly a 10-point underdog playing closer to its opponent’s home than Durham.

Just in case you were wondering, the GOAT still has it.