Coach K: 'No discussion' of shutting down Zion Williamson, 'no timetable' on return | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / November 19.
  • Coach K: ‘No discussion’ of shutting down Zion Williamson, ‘no timetable’ on return

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Duke has had no discussion of shutting down freshman phenom Zion Williamson for the rest of the season because of his right knee sprain, and there is no timetable on his return.

    The 6-foot-7 Williamson sat out then-No. 1 Duke’s win at Syracuse on Saturday and will miss Tuesday’s game at No. 20 Virginia Tech. He is listed as day-to-day going forward.

    “He’s not going to play but he’s getting better,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Monday.

    “There’s no timetable there. We don’t want to put the pressure of time on him. Let’s just take care of it. We have a great resume this season and we’re hoping to continue to do that. The main thing is for him to get healthy and for us to continue to improve.”

    Coach K previously said there was no talk of shutting Williamson down.

    “We would never play a kid who’s not ready,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said, per ESPN. “We would never play a youngster who didn’t want to play. It’s not about that. He wants to play. He loves being at Duke. He doesn’t like being injured. It’s an injury you can get over in a shorter period of time. There’s just a protocol that we have to go through to make sure he’s completely ready. We’re not rushing anything, so that’s why we said day-to-day because it’s literally day-to-day.”

    ESPN’s Jonathan Givony produced research suggesting we likely won’t see Williamson until sometime in March, possibly for the March 9 rematch at North Carolina.

    A chorus of basketball observers said the 6-foot-7 Williamson should consider shutting it down after he njured his knee on a non-contact play while attempting to take UNC’s Luke Maye off the dribble last Wednesday.

    But his AAU coach told me for a story on Forbes SportsMoney that he would be “shocked” if Williamson shut it down if he’s okay to play. And Williamson has said his goal is to win an NCAA championship this year with Duke.

    Meantime, the “Sneaker War” over Williamson’s shoe contract figures to intensify because of the Nike malfunction.

    The projected No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, Williamson is second in the ACC in scoring (21.6), third in rebounds (8.8) and leads the conference in field goal percentage (.683) and steals (2.2).

    No. 1 Duke visits No. 20 Virginia Tech on Tuesday.

    Photo: Getty Images

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.