Gonzaga Edges Duke in High-Intensity Non-Con of the Year

Published on 21-Nov-2018 by J Square Humboldt

Basketball - NCAA Mens    NCAA Basketball Daily Update

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Gonzaga Edges Duke in High-Intensity Non-Con of the Year

What we just witnessed in Lahaina's tiny Civic Center gym was epic.

While the idea for an annual Champions Classic is to get a possible preview of the next March Madness title game, it may well be that this year, this is what the Maui Classic finalists gave us.

The experienced Gonzaga Bulldogs beat the super-frosh laden Duke Blue Devils in an 89-87 throwdown that served as a college hoops version of shock-&-awe.


As hypesters are wont to do, this one was billed as the Zags' Rui Hachimura against the Dookies four freakin' freshmen, led by man-child Zion Williamson.

The reality, though, is NBA-level talent was in abundance everywhere.

Box scored didn't do the game justice, either. So much more happened on an extraordinary level than just points, dimes, and boards.


With mainstay Killian Tillie still recovering from ankle surgery, Mark Few simply rolled out 6-11 freshman Filip Petrušev, one of Serbia's pillars when they won the European championship this past summer.

While Duke is dominant in domestic recruiting, the Zags have a history of reaching out from their Spokane outpost to all corners of the world to collar the likes of Hachimura (Japan), Tillie (France), and Petrušev.


Williamson & Co already has NBA teams talking about tanking this season, so it's Hachimura who made himself a lotta future dosh with his showing in Maui:


Not that any of these dudes and their teammates still don't have lots to learn, but someone who's gotta lotta catching up to do is RJ Barrett.

Yes, he racked up 23 points in this one, but it took him 25 shots to do it.

And no one's gonna get anywhere against the Zags by playing hero ball. Barrett spent Duke's last crucial possessions forgetting his bud Williamson, among others.


Coach Krzyzewski will have that sorted by March.

Meanwhile, Coach Few will spend the rest of Gonzaga's real season -- the non-cons -- fine tuning the machine before its summary obliteration of the West Coast Conference.


By the time these two clubs could meet again, they'll surely be refined versions of the teams that electrified Maui. In all likelihood, so will a few others.

But what Gonzaga and Duke did in that tiny gym has raised the bar immeasurably.

For the enjoyment of all.

Click on a photo to enlarge.