Steve Nash defends RJ Barrett after Duke star’s failure in Elite Eight

Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

RJ Barrett had a phenomenal season for the Duke Blue Devils, but his final seconds of the 2018-19 season are ones he might want to forget.

The freshman forward had a chance to tie the game with two free throws and just over five seconds remaining on the clock. Instead, the first clanked off the iron. Then, trying to miss his second to give his team a chance at the offensive rebound, Barrett watched in horror as his intentional miss went right into the hoop.

After the game, NBA legend Steve Nash, who is also Barrett’s godfather, came to his defense.

Nash isn’t lying.

Barrett has a tremendous freshman season for Duke, averaging 22.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.

Unfortunately, his final game wasn’t one for the highlight reel. He did put up 21 points, six rebounds and six assists. Yet in addition to his big mistake at the end of the game, he also turned the ball over seven times.

At the age of 18, though, Barrett has plenty of time to come back stronger than ever. And based on many pre-draft projections, he’ll do it at the NBA level next season as a very high draft pick.