Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski challenged freshman Luke Kennard earlier this week.
Kennard answered the call.
The 6-foot-5 freshman guard from Franklin poured in a career-high 24 points, including 10 in overtime, in No. 7 Duke’s 77-75 overtime loss to Utah on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
Kennard hit 12-of-13 free throws and also grabbed eight rebounds as the Blue Devils fell to 9-2.
With Duke trailing by six, Kennard notched a four-point play with under 10 seconds to go. Utah turned the ball over on the ensuing possession but Brandon Ingram missed the potential game-tying shot in the waning moments.
After Tuesday’s win over Georgia Southern in which Kennard scored 11 points in his first career start but struggled with his shot, Krzyzewski called out the two-time Mr. Ohio Basketball.
KENNARD TRACKER: Follow Luke’s freshman season
“Luke’s got to play better,” Krzyzewski told the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer. “Luke, in practice the last three days, had been lights-out, sharp, tough. He hasn’t translated that to a game. I didn’t think he was sharp tonight at all. He potentially can put up big numbers.”
Kennard is averaging 10.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per game through his first 11 college games, all but one off the bench. He’s shooting 39.1 percent from the field, including 27.1 percent from 3-point range. He has made 34 of 36 free throws (94.4 percent).
Kennard averaged 38.1 points per game as a senior at Franklin and finished his prep career as the No. 2 all-time scorer in Ohio.