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Duke Rolls Past Toronto, 96-60

Williams and Barrett starred again but the other guys stepped up considerably.

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Invictus Games Toronto 2017 - Closing Ceremony
Duke’s Canada tour continues Sunday
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett starred again Friday, leading Duke to a 26 point win.

The other players stepped up nicely with almost everyone playing better than they did against Ryerson on Wednesday. Duke got really nice games from Javin DeLaurier, Jack White, Joey Baker, Antonio Vrankovic and Justin Robinson.

But as was the case Wednesday, Barrett and Williamson were the stars.

Barrett had 35 points, nine rebounds and three assists and shot 15-26. Williamson shot 12-16, had eight boards, two assists and two steals. Each had four turnovers.

Duke’s dynamic duo took 42 of Duke’s 76 shots, but the rest of their teammates, generally speaking, played better than they did on Wednesday.

Javin DeLaurier was all over the place. He was a whirlwind on defense and has shown that he’s much better on offense than he was last year. He had four points and five rebounds.

Jack White had six points and five boards.

Joey Baker, who honestly looked a bit lost on Wednesday, was far, far better on Friday. He shot 4-7 but more importantly, he looked like he belongs.

Antonio Vrankovic’s best moment, in a sense, was pretty unconventional: he got knocked down and bounced right back up.

Why does that matter?

Because it reflected his vastly improved strength and conditioning. When he got to Duke, Vrankovic was a heavy-legged and pudgy big kid. He may never be a great player, but he’s vastly improved and can hold his own inside now. Physically he’s not the same guy at all. There will be times this year when Duke turns to him and he’ll be ready. He’s legit now.

Brennan Besser came off the bench in the closing minutes of the game and played with incredible intensity. He was really outstanding.

Still, the stars were Barrett and Williamson.

Barrett continues to show an advanced and sophisticated game. His biggest issue is to learn discretion and when to not do things. He could work on his jump shot a bit more and get stronger too but that’s quibbling. He’s good to go.

Williamson has some things to work on too as he said after the game: “I’m an unfinished product but I’m working on every part of my game. If I can make it to the next level they can really break it down, but right now I’m just looking at everything.”

As we said Thursday though, he has talent, instinct and drive. He’s just refining his game now. Yes, he can dunk (“The pro hop, honestly I wasn’t even thinking about dunking, I was just thinking about finishing with a layup, but when I did it and I jumped I said, ‘Alright I’m up here, so might as well dunk it,’”), but he’s not going to settle for being just athletic. Yes, he’s huge for a basketball player, but he sees himself as a player, not a stuntman. That’s exactly how he should see himself too.

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