Duke vs. Kansas score, takeaways: Jalen Wilson leads Jayhawks’ late rally vs. Blue Devils in Champions Classic

The first game of the 2022-23 college basketball season between top 10 teams was delivered in thrilling fashion on Tuesday night as No. 6 Kansas topped No. 7 Duke 69-64 during the Tournament of Champions Classic in Indianapolis. The Jayhawks were without coach Bill Self, who served his third of a four-game suspension in response to alleged NCAA violations.

But even without Self and some key players from last season’s national championship team, the Jayhawks look like a national contender once again. Kansas freshman Grady Dyck came alive in crunch time with three clutch buckets in the final two and a half minutes, two of which gave the Jayhawks the lead.

His dunk and buzzer-beating layup with 1:04 left gave the Jayhawks a 65-62 lead, which ended with a six-point lead late in the second half. Dick was held scoreless until late in the half, but finished with 14 points.

For most of the second half, the Jayhawks essentially force-fed young wing Jalen Wilson, who is back as the top scorer after stars like Ochai Agbaji and Christian Brown passed up the NBA draft. Wilson finished with 25 points and helped the Jayhawks weather a storm in the second half.

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Duke fell behind by 11 points early, but proved it as the game wore on as freshman forward Kyle Filipowski stood out for his offense in the second half. Filipovski led the Blue Devils with 17 points and 14 rebounds, but was only 6 of 18 from the field. Jeremy Roach had 16 points for Duke.

Both teams faced poor shooting

Duke had hit 34 percent of its 3-point attempts in the opening two games Tuesday, but the Blue Devils went cold from beyond the arc against Kansas. Jeremy Roach and Tyrese Proctor were each 1-for-5 from deep, and Filipowski was 1-of-6 while Jalen Blakes and Jacob Grandison combined to go 0-of-5.

Kansas wasn’t much better as the Jayhawks hit just 3 of 19 attempts from 3-point range, but KU had more success attacking the rim. Overall, Kansas 46.3% from the field compared to 35.8% for Duke. Junior big man KJ Adams quietly made 4 of 4 attempts from the field without being the focal point of KU’s offense. His task against Duke’s much taller bigs was unenviable, but he handled it well enough to allow the Jayhawks to capitalize in other ways.

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Kansas shows its wings

How KU capitalized was through its versatile wing offense. Wilson stepped into the lane against whoever was guarding him, and Dick managed to break free at key moments. Texas Tech transfer Kevin McCullar also made big strides in the first half, especially early when he was often guarded by Filipowski, a 7-footer. McCullar scored 8 of his 12 points in the first half. He scored six times in less than seven minutes early in the Jayhawks’ 17-6 lead.

The size and versatility of the Wilson-Dick-McCullar trio stood out for Kansas. Although he’s only three games into his career, Dyke looks set to fill a role similar to that played by Christian Brown for the Jayhawks on their way to the national title last season. Although replacing Ochai Agbaji will be a bit more difficult, it’s clear that KU has the perimeter weapons necessary to become a similar nightmare.

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Key players are missing in action

None of the teams had their full rosters available. One of Duke’s five-star recruits, versatile wing Dariq Whitehead, has yet to make his debut as he recovers from offseason foot surgery. The 6-6 wing would give Duke another versatile defender to line up against Wilson and Dyke.

Kansas was also without two players. Freshman guard MJ Rice (illness) and sophomore Zach Clemens (injury) were unavailable. Rice is a McDonald’s All-American who played a big role off the bench last week, and Clemens is a sophomore fighting for minutes in the frontcourt.


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