Coach K: Zion Williamson expected back with Duke for ACC tournament

May JohnsonMar 10, 2019

Other anecdotes include whether or not Zion Williamson will play - though that is, of course, the headline for ESPN - senior night for North Carolina's Luke Maye, Kenny Williams and Cam Johnson, as well as the possibility that freshmen Coby White and Nassir Little could be playing in their final game at the Smith Center.

The school announced Williamson's status on Saturday.

The 6-7, 285-pound Williamson, a national player of the year candidate who averages 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, last played in Duke's 88-72 loss to UNC at Cameron Indoor Stadium. But he said it's more likely Williamson will return for Duke's first ACC tournament game on March 14.

It was the first time Duke met Pitt in the ACC Tournament and the No. 11 spot was the lowest seed for the Blue Devils since 1993, when they were the No. 9 seed.

Zion Williamson is not quite ready to return to the court.

"The way it's going, he's not going to be doubtful for the tournament", Krzyzewski said. Zion Williamson, with his size and his skill, has the potential to do that. "I guess we got all of our bad shots out of the way at shoot-around". Most players need some reps to get back in game shape. "I have to be careful not to push this".

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Duke is now projected as a No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament, and Krzyzewski said he's not concerned about how recent struggles without Williamson might affect seeding.

At one point, Wake led by as many as 10, and it was only a pair of misses near the basket at the end that allowed Duke to escape with the win.

Freshman point guard Tre Jones also limped to the locker room in the second half after bumping his right knee.

"We're not as good as we are with him-that's the first thing", Krzyzewski explained.

R.J. Barrett was outstanding as usual, logging 28 points, five rebounds and four assists while passing Marvin Bagley as the highest-scoring freshman in Duke history. "You can't put together a well-oiled machine here in a couple practices to play in this conference at a level when you lose a kid like that".

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