Jahlil Okafor was Duke's best freshman this season, but he wasn't the Blue Devils' only capable diaper dandy, though. That point was really driven home during Monday night's national championship game.
With the prized center in foul trouble all night long against Wisconsin, it was the Blue Devils' other freshmen who stepped up and turned in clutch performances. Grayson Allen had 16 points and Tyus Jones scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half to lead the Blue Devils to a 68-63 victory over the Badgers. Jones earned the Most Outstanding Player award for his efforts.
"We didn't have to say anything to Jah...unfortunately he got into some foul trouble," Jones told reporters during the postgame press conference. "We never get down on ourselves. It's all about winning, no matter who is stepping up or playing individually."
Well after Okafor picked up his fourth foul with 9:18 remaining in the second half, Jones drained a huge three-pointer to give Duke a 59-58 lead with 4:08 left. Following a 30-second timeout, Okafor came right back and hit a layup to pad out the Blue Devils' lead and Jones would score five more points, including another clutch three, to ice the win and give coach Mike Krzyzewski his fifth national title. Before Jones's huge buckets, Allen single-handedly kept Duke in the game, scoring eight straight points. After a 31-31 halftime score, Duke freshmen scored all 37 points in the second half.
"It doesn't feel real right now to be honest," Allen told reporters.
Associated Press Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky led Wisconsin with 21 points. Despite having defeated Kentucky and ending the team's pursuit of a perfect season in the Final Four, the Badgers didn't have any answers for Allen nor Jones in the second half.
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(Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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