Zion Williamson throwing a dunk down against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.

The Duke Blue Devils are on a preseason tour in Canada, playing U SPORTS schools Ryerson University, the University of Toronto, and McGill University, and the trip has turned into a great showcase for highly-touted freshmen R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson (seen above mid-dunk). On Wednesday in Toronto suburb Mississauga against the Ryerson Rams (who have finished as the U SPORTS national runners-up the past two seasons), Barrett (who’s from Mississauga originally) recorded 34 points, five rebounds, two assists,two steals, and a block in Duke’s 86-67 win, while Williamson added 29 points (including three three-point makes on four attempts), 13 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. On Friday, also in Mississauga against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues (they had the name long before the movie, FYI), both Barrett and Williamson added to their highlight reels in a 96-60 win:



Yeah, that’s pretty good. And sure, these are just exhibition games, but these highly-touted Duke freshmen are already living up to the hype, and that hype is considerable; Barrett’s attracting some buzz as a possible #1 overall NBA pick, while some see Williamson as a potential top-five pick. (Oh, and this isn’t all of Duke’s young talent; the Blue Devils have the top-ranked recruiting class in the U.S., further boosted by Cam Reddish and Tre Jones, who are missing these games thanks to injuries.) We’ll see how the NBA winds up viewing Barrett and Williamson,, but boy, they’re certainly off to a nice start with the Blue Devils. Their Canadian tour will continue against McGill Sunday (3 p.m. Eastern, ESPN+), and they may well add to their highlights there.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.