Coach K warns fans about early Duke hype: 'Let's not get spoiled'
Duke has quickly become the early favorites to win the national championship with four highly touted freshman leading the way.
The Blue Devils (6-1) won four of their first five contests by at least 22 points before a humbling 89-87 loss to No. 1 ranked Gonzaga in the Maui Invitational Final. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski is reminding fans to calm the hype as his young stars continue to develop.
"Let's get real about this whole thing," Krzyzewski said, according to ESPN's David M. Hale. "Let's not get spoiled. We've got four 19-year-old kids that are busting their ass trying to learn how to play and have a lot of pressure on them."
Duke freshman RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson, and Cam Reddish were 2018's top-ranked recruits, while starting point guard Tre Jones was No. 17 on the list. They currently make up for nearly 70 points per game through seven contests.
Barrett leads the team in scoring at 22.7 points per game but has been plagued with inefficient play at times - most notably missing five shots in the final minute against Gonzaga. However, coach Krzyzewski was quick to defend his stars' shot selection.
"And Duke fans, just cut it out, man," Krzyzewski added. "These kids aren't perfect. (Barrett) wasn't playing hero's ball. He was playing winner's ball ... I'll go to war with my guys. He had the heart to do that, Jack (White) had the heart to get the rebound. We lose, I'll lose with them."
Duke takes on Stetson (1-6) at home on Saturday
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