Duke basketball: RJ Barrett starring in FIBA World Cup after awful start

Duke basketball guard RJ Barrett (Photo by Fermin Rodriguez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Duke basketball guard RJ Barrett (Photo by Fermin Rodriguez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

It has been a promising summer for Duke basketball standout RJ Barrett. 

It feels like Duke basketball standout RJ Barrett has a clunker of a game to begin a season.

It could be the regular season, postseason, or international competition but once he gets the poor game out of his system he is ready to go on a tear.

Barrett, playing for his home country of Canada, gave the Canadians that same taste of what he does to New York Knick fans this week at the FIBA World Cup.

In the first game of the event, the former Blue Devil was 1-for-10 from the field in a highly anticipated matchup against France with just five points. It not only set off alarm bells in United States with the New York media market, but also Canada’s chances at winning a gold medal if he did not turn things around.

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However, in typical RJ Barrett fashion he has responded in a major way.

A 17-point showing immediately followed for Barrett and made 7-of-12 shots, 3-of-6 from 3-point range.

He then put together his best game of the event in the final game of the First Round group stage against Latvia with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting.

It’s just a casual 39 points on 16-for-26 (61.5-percent) shooting from the field and 7-of-12 (58.3-percent) from 3-point range in his last two games.

Duke basketball standout looking to keep international career rolling

RJ Barrett averaged 19.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game this season with the Knicks but he always seems to thrive in international games after he was the Most Valuable Player of the U19 FIBA World Cup in 2017 in which Canada upset the United States of America in the semifinals and eventually won the gold medal.

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He is in the midst of a three year commitment to play with the Canadian Men’s National Team and will surely be looking forward to competing for his country in next year’s Olympics.

Canada will play Brazil in the Second Round group stage on Friday, September 1 (9:30 a.m. ET) before another major showdown with Spain on Sunday, September 3 (9:30 a.m. ET) where RJ Barrett will look to lead his country into the knockout stage.

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