Zion Williamson arrived at Duke surrounded by serious hype and the freshman is living up to expectations.
The 6-7, 285-pound forward, known best for his dunking prior to matriculating to college basketball, continues to deliver highlights.
Through his first 18 games, Williamson is averaging 21.7 points per game while making 67 percent of his shots. He leads Duke with 9.3 rebounds per game and has the team’s most steals (36) and is second in blocked shots (32).
“Zion, I don’t know if I’ve seen anything like it in my time coaching,” Pittsburgh coach Jeff Capel, a former Duke assistant who helped recruit Williamson, said after Williamson scored 25 points with seven rebounds and seven assists in Duke’s 79-64 win over his Panthers last Tuesday night.
More than his dunks, Williamson is producing like a strong candidate for ACC and national player of the year honors.
Projected as a top pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, Williamson doesn’t figure to be in college after this season.
But more than anything else, Williamson gets noticed for his dunks. Here are a few of his best: :
Jan. 5: A 360-degree dunk in the second half of what became an 87-68 win over Clemson might be his best.
Nov. 6: Williamson started the season with a bang, just like his team. Duke blasted Kentucky 118-64 in the Champions Classic and Williamson wowed the country with a high-flying, two-handed dunk as he cocked the ball back with both hands and threw it down.
Three to remember
Nov. 14: Duke’s 84-46 win over Eastern Michigan at Cameron Indoor Stadium featured three dunks that pleased the sold-out crowd. Perhaps the best play was when Williamson saved a Duke turnover and delivered a memorable dunk at the same time. A half-court lob appeared headed out of bounds. But Williamson leaped so high the rim was at his armpits to snare the ball out of the air and slam home two points.
Dec. 1: In Duke’s 113-49 wipeout win over Stetson at Cameron, the left-handed Williamson completed a fast break by cocking the ball back with his right hand and throwing down a one-handed dunk.