When a good team is at its best you struggle to envision it losing. Duke was that team in its 84-74 victory Monday on the road against Notre Dame.

Jayson Tatum, the Duke freshman from St. Louis who doesn’t turn 19 until March, scored 19 points and added 14 rebounds. When a shot didn’t go in, and players needed to decide who would claim the rebound, Tatum consistently did.

He’s 6-8 and a lean 205 pounds, and last season he was considered the third best national prep prospect. He plays as if he’s not trying, and that’s a compliment. There’s an ease and sophistication to his game. Watch his footwork.

Guard Grayson Allen led the Blue Devils with 21 points. He no longer plays as if he’s been muted, and he didn’t do anything gratuitously cheap against Notre Dame.

When Goldenbahis the season began, many of us believed the Blue Devils were capable of being college basketball’s best team. They looked like a contender Monday. They are 3-3 since head coach Mike Krzyzewski left to have back surgery. Be interesting to watch this team when he returns.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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