Duke’s Zion Williamson ‘ready to kill every game’ ahead of rivalry clash vs. North Carolina
Duke forward Zion Williamson had perhaps the best return from injury in college history, coming back from a five-game absence to not miss a shot during a 13-of-13 masterpiece against the Syracuse Orange on Thursday night. The 6-foot-7 freshman is more than ready for the game that awaits the Blue Devils against longtime rival North Carolina as part of the ACC Tournament.
“I come ready to kill every game, so it was just great to get back on the court,” said Williamson after pouring in 29 points, 14 rebounds, two assists, five steals and a block in an 84-72 win on Thursday, according to Adam Zagoria of Forbes.
Williamson expressed plenty of excitement for the upcoming matchup after missing all but 33 seconds of action against UNC this season. He was removed from the game in their first meeting due to his knee injury, while missing the season finale altogether.
“I think it’s going to be a great game,” he said. “They’re a very great team. And it’s a rivalry so I’m excited.”
The Tar Heels won both games, as Duke clearly struggled to find a dominant player to take over without Williamson in the lineup.
While many thought that initial UNC game should be the last episode of Williamson’s collegiate career, Jalen Rose thought differently after Duke announced his return earlier on Thursday.
“There was a lot of talk about where people felt like he shouldn’t come back and play,” Rose said Thursday on ESPN’s “Get Up!”
“The guy who’s he’s playing for right now, Coach K, is going to teach him more than whoever’s coaching him next year. To play at Duke, to play on the big stage, to have the opportunity to win the ACC Tournament, to have the opportunity to win the national championship, that’s why he signed to go play at Duke.”
Duke is fighting for one of the top seeds in the NCAA Tournament, one they will only muster if Zion Williamson can take them to the promised land and win the ACC crown by the end of the tournament.