College Sports

Zion Williamson sticking with Duke - even without Jeff Capel

Zion Williamson explains Coach K’s unique pitch, the art of in-game highlight dunks

Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball commit Zion Williamson explains how Coach K secured the five-star from South Carolina.
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Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball commit Zion Williamson explains how Coach K secured the five-star from South Carolina.

The McDonald's All-American game was played Wednesday night at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Six future Duke and UNC players participated in the annual All-Star event.

Little named MVP

Future UNC forward Nassir Little (No. 10 player in the nation) led all scorers with 28 points (12-17) and five rebounds as his West team defeated the East 131-128. For his efforts, Little was named the game MVP.

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Williamson suffers injury

Late in the McDonald's All-American game, future Duke forward Zion Williamson injured his right hand during a drive to the basket. Williamson was taken to the locker room with 5:46 remaining in the game. Williamson was attempting to drive to the basket and slipped on the court. In an attempt to break his fall, Williamson tried to brace the fall with his right hand, and his hand bent backwards on the floor. Williamson received medical attention on the floor, but was taken to the locker room moments later.

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Tre Jones lead recruiter for Duke?

Class of 2018 point guard Tre Jones is already the general of the Duke incoming freshman class. According to Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish, it was Jones, the No. 12 player in the class, who started sending text messages to Reddish and Williamson and trying to convince them to join him in Durham.

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Zion sticking with Duke

Williamson, the No. 3 player in the class of 2018, confirmed that he was sticking with Duke despite the departure of Jeff Capel, who left this week to be the head coach at Pittsburgh. Capel, one of the top recruiters on the Blue Devils' staff, took the job with the Panthers on Tuesday. Williamson is the only player in the current recruiting class who has not signed a letter of intent, leaving some to wonder if Williamson might change him mind.

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However, Jeff Goodman reported at the McDonald's All-American game that he was sticking with Duke, and that assistant coach Nate James, not Capel, was his lead recruiter during the process.

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The surprise of 2018?

During the McDonald's game broadcast, Jay Williams asked Corey Alexander who he thought would be the surprise player in the class of 2018? Without hesitation Alexander said future UNC guard Coby White of Greenfield School. Alexander, who played at Virginia, said with the way Carolina plays, he can see White playing a huge role for the Tar Heels next season with his speed and shooting ability.

White, who committed to UNC as a sophomore, averaged 30 points this season for Greenfield School. He came off the bench for the East in the McDonald's game.

R.J. Barrett No. 1 in 2019?

Future Duke forward R.J. Barrett, the No. 1 player in the class of 2018 according to 247Sports, might be No. 1 again when the 2019 NBA Draft rolls around. Former Blue Devils guard, and No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft Jay Williams, said during the game broadcast that he feels like Barrett could be the top draft pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Barrett did not waste much time getting on the board, slamming down a dunk from the right wing in the opening minutes of the contest. Barrett and fellow future Duke forward, Zion Williamson started for the East, while Cam Reddish and Tre Jones started for the West.