At the end of a night that brought fiery player introductions, highlight reel dunks, and more than 9,000 people to their feet, there was hardly anyone in Cameron Indoor Stadium who could wait any longer for the season to begin.

No. 4 Duke will kick off its season with an exhibition match against Virginia Union at Cameron Indoor Stadium Tuesday at 7 p.m. It will be the first time that four of the most scrutinized freshmen in the nation—R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish and Tre Jones—join forces in the starting lineup. With the nation's top recruiting class, the Blue Devils are bursting with talent and it will be interesting to see how they match up to expectation.

“We love the freshmen,” sophomore guard Alex O’Connell said Friday after Countdown to Craziness. “You saw us... we love to run, and that’s a lot of what the freshmen bring. They bring talent, speed and just quickness, and that makes us a whole different team.”

Speed could be the X-factor in Tuesday’s matchup—the Virginia Union roster fields just nine players. The Blue Devils will also be experimenting with different lineups as they did in the Blue/White scrimmage Friday night. With Barrett and Reddish on one team and Williamson and Jones on the other, head coach Mike Krzyzewski got a glimpse into which players meshed well with the talented freshmen.

“The role players get a chance to play with key guys,” Krzyzewski said. “We’ll get to see how the first unit does against another team on Tuesday and how the role players come in.” 

Krzyzewski recently slotted junior Javin DeLaurier as the teams fifth starter, but it'll be interesting to see how the rest of the rotation fills out with juniors Marques Bolden and Jack White, alongside sophomore Alex O'Connell and freshmen Joey Baker. Given the Duke's poor shooting on the Canada tour and Friday's scrimmage—8-of-26 attempts were converted by both teams combined—what the Blue Devils might need the most is another shooter who can capitalize off drives from the dynamic freshmen.

“During the year, making open threes will be essential, especially around guys who are so talented at getting to the bucket,” White said. “Those kind of shots can open up, so being around those guys, making reads off the ball, and just being solid and consistent, that’s going to be good for me and the team moving forward.”

With four of the five Blue Devil starters being freshmen, it will be interesting to see if a lack of experience has any relevance in a game that is rather lopsided in terms of talent. Virginia Union also has more of a front-court presence, with two-thirds of its players being either forwards or centers, however, its largest player is 6-foot-8 and will likely be forced to live on the perimeter.

The Panthers are coming off a mediocre 18-15 season and will be losing their three top scorers, a big blow to an offense that scored 73.5 points per game. Returning junior William Jenkins—a forward from Baltimore who averaged 6.2 points and 5.2 rebounds last season—will look to lead the team this year.

As the Blue Devils begin their quest for a sixth national championship, perhaps the most important thing is that the star freshmen swallow their pride on a roster that might arguably be one of the most talented college basketball has ever seen.

“Overall, they are unselfish. You’d have to teach it if they weren’t,” Krzyzewski said. “They all like to pass. More than that, they all like to win. They are ok with whoever scores. When we put them all together, they’ll be very good.”