When guys like Mike Krzyzewski, Bill Self, Roy Williams, Billy Donovan, John Calipari, Jeff Capel and Gregg McDermott show up for the first game of the tournament, you know something, or someone, big is playing.
Something and someone was playing. Harrison Barnes and Brandon Knight, the top two players in the class of 2010, according to Scout.com, locked horns in one of the most anticipated match-ups of the summer recruiting period.
And for the first five minutes of the game, there is a reason why a total of eight combined national championships were represented on the sidelines. Both Barnes and Knight put on a show.
Knight and future Florida guard Austin Rivers 32 of their team's amazing 57 first half points to set the tone early but had to fight hard from the valiant effort that Barnes put forth. Knight finished with a loud 21 points and six rebounds in a 88-58 blowout on Sunday morning.
Barnes didn't go down without a fight, scoring 20 points in the loss. Simply put, he couldn't do it on his own against a big, strong and defensive-savvy team from Florida.
Knight said he was excited to play against a player like Barnes.
"We know we aren't going to match-up against each other because we are different positions but sure, you think about it. It's something that crosses your mind," Knight said.
Both players, as well as Rivers, played like the best of the best in high school hoops. Knight said that level of competition brings out the best in competitors.
"When you play players like him, you just basically want to win. You want to bring your best game and just hard for that win because you know what you can do and you know what he can do," Knight said.
After the game, Knight talked about the recruiting process.
"I've talked to Coach K a couple of times and he said he thinks I can be a great defender for them," Knight said. "They have a nice program. They seem to always be playing for a national championship every year."
Knight said the only time he has been on Duke's campus was for the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. When asked if he would visit in the fall, Knight said, "possibly." While not in a big rush to decide, Knight said he'll occasionally think about the schools recruiting him. The 6-foot-4 guard said he lets his parents do most of the talking with the coaches.
When probed about what schools he is hearing from, he said Kansas, Florida, Miami, Connecticut, Florida State and Wake Forest.
He's one of the biggest question makers in the class when it comes to guessing who is really in the driver's seat for his recruitment. For now, he's just doing his part to knock out some of the best players in the country.
TheDevilsDen.com will have more from Barnes, Knight and the rest of the Duke targets at the Nike Peach Jam on Sunday and Monday.