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Zion Williamson (2000-) - Duke-Bound All-American Basketball Player, with the Height of a Guard, and the Weight of a Center

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He played in his first college game on Election night;  a game between then #4 ranked Duke vs then #2 ranked Kentucky.   Duke simply crushed Kentucky.    Didn't watch the game but did see highlights.   My gut is that when Williamson drives defenders will part ways like the Red Sea.  I don't think too many defenders will want to take a charge.

Some highlights from that Duke romp including the very instagram friendly Williamson:

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If you think basketball or college basketball is entertainment worthy you may want to watch Zion Williamson of Duke.  I don’t recall seeing anyone as stunning as him in an absurdly long time, and he is just a freshman headed to the pro’s next season.   The most fearsome jaw dropping rampaging example of a big thick very strong guy racing coast to Coast and slam dunking was Charles Barkley.  Nobody ever did it quite like him.  This isn’t quite there—but it’s very close.  Zion is must see TV

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1 hour ago, DaveO said:

If you think basketball or college basketball is entertainment worthy you may want to watch Zion Williamson of Duke.  I don’t recall seeing anyone as stunning as him in an absurdly long time, and he is just a freshman headed to the pro’s next season.   The most fearsome jaw dropping rampaging example of a big thick very strong guy racing coast to Coast and slam dunking was Charles Barkley.  Nobody ever did it quite like him.  This isn’t quite there—but it’s very close.  Zion is must see TV

Coast to coast with his left, then finishes with the right. I don't watch college basketball (or much pro), but I've tuned in when this guy is playing.  He's a complete freak of nature - and incredibly fun to watch.

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1 hour ago, zgast said:

He's a complete freak of nature - and incredibly fun to watch.

That 2 Handed block  at the basket was great athleticism, excellent hustle and very aware basketball.

(Now for an entirely different type of freak of nature:  the longevity, fullness and remarkable rigidness of Jimmy Johnson’s head of hair, possibly celebrating 2 decades of NFL commentary)

If a single strand of hair moved as a result of the regular time tie, I’d be astounded

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I watched that game.  The Dukies had great 3 pt shooting early in the game and another stretch of great 3 pt shooting in the second half.  They took an early lead and held on throughout.  Meanwhile for most of the game they played Williamson down low and the Virginia defense was pretty tough on him.  He didn't get lots of shots.

Plays like the above are amazing.  At the start Williamson is on the other side of the basket towards the free throw line.  He sees the ball movement, rotates across the court and makes that incredible block.  Geez he was sky high.  Meanwhile I wonder about blocks like that.  They are crowd pleasers and  psyche your teammates.  Yet Virginia gets the ball back. If they scored on the next possession--the block does not add to the final score or outcome.  

Better to block the shot like Bill Russell and Bill Walton always tried to do.  Block the shot and keep possession.  OTOH--plays like Williamson makes are basketball Eye Candy

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On 2/20/2019 at 10:24 PM, DonRocks said:
In the blink of an eye, Nike went from "Air Jordan" to "Tear Zion."

He shouldn't play another second of college basketball; this injury is a fine smoke screen to sit the rest of the season out.  Imagine if that had happened with his knee at a more compromised angle.  He'll be picked first in the draft anyway.  Let the "purists" bitch about it; it's not their 100s of millions of $$$ on the line.

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18 hours ago, TedE said:

He shouldn't play another second of college basketball; this injury is a fine smoke screen to sit the rest of the season out.  Imagine if that had happened with his knee at a more compromised angle.  He'll be picked first in the draft anyway.  Let the "purists" bitch about it; it's not their 100s of millions of $$$ on the line.

Reluctantly I’m of the same mind.  Having been a fan of and followed college basketball for decades it has changed.  One and done is an extension of a long term trend wherein college players stay only 1,2,or 3 seasons.  As a fan I have a hard time connecting with one and done players.

With players coming and going there is no longer a connection that often came with familiarity and watching players evolve and grow.  It is all long gone.

Zion’s injury brought me back to Kyrie Irving, who went to Duke, played about 10 games and was injured.  He went into the pro’s as the #1 draft choice.  He has big money in front of him and an opportunity to secure his future.   Tie it down.  

Kyrie Irving was traded for Isaiah Thomas, whose injury possibly cost him $50-100 million.   Crazy amounts of money you can’t replicate elsewhere are at risk.  

Shut it down Zion.  Duke fans will hate it.  It’s your life and your financial future.

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The story of the Duke star who paved the way for Zion Williamson, Gene Banks

Ah, Gene Banks, I remember him.   As per the story when he graduated from high school he was generally described as one of the 3 utterly outstanding high school seniors that would dominate in college and beyond.  A second was Albert King, from Brooklyn, brother of the then current college (and later Pro) star, Bernard King.  King went to U Maryland and later the Pro's.  The third was a little known dude named Earvin Johnson, who went by the nickname of Magic. 

Magic became one of the all-time greats.  The other two faded into obscurity and sort of mediocrity in the pros.  But when they entered college the expectations were out of this world.  (so much for hype).

Banks played very well his freshman year and was part of a team that went to the NCAA finals, ultimately losing to Kentucky in a game featuring one of the all time great performances (by a Wildcat--not a Dukie). 

He might have peaked or plateaued that season.  He did make all-American teams, he did get drafted in the second round of the NBA and he did play for 6 reasonably solid years....but Magic he was not.  

Per the article he was the first McDonald's All-American to go to Duke and since then they have had an enormous amount of them, peaking these past few years with the cream of the crop and a large number of one-and-done players.  Banks is well described as a Zion Williamson forerunner.  He was both athletic and dramatically strong coming out of high school...though not in any way as spectacular as Williamson.  His status as a Philadelphia high school legend of the time is quite remarkable.  His games suspended Philadelphia gang fights.  Now that is rather amazing. 

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Yikes!!!   What a return from an injury.   13 shots-> 13 baskets.  

Boy the Syracuse zone has befuddled opposing college teams for not just years but decades.   More than anything it has and should keep opposing teams from scoring inside.  Zion Williamson is simply too strong, too wide, too talented,  jumps too well, and has extraordinary timing to be contained by the Syracuse players and zone that theoretically should double team him down low.  He out talented them.   He crushed them.  A man among boys.  Jeepers.  He was dominant.

 

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