The Blue Devils aren’t done yet, roll past Pitt

Posted March 10, 2019

Zion Williamson, #1 of the Duke Blue Devils, watches his team during the second half of their game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 5 in Durham, North Carolina.

Despite what coach Mike Krzyzewski termed "a really good workout" by the freshman on Thursday, Williamson will miss his fifth full game as he continues to recover from a sprained right knee, which he suffered February 20 in the opening minute of Duke's loss to the Tar Heels. Brown of The Athletic. "I have to be careful not to push this". "I don't think he'll be ready for [UNC]. but I would be surprised if he wasn't ready by the ACC tournament".

Duke (26-4, 14-3 ACC) is 3-2 in the almost five full games without Williamson, who is averaging 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds as he's made himself a candidate to be national player of the year and the No. 1 overall NBA draft pick.

Goodchild's 73 made 3s this season are the most ever by a Duke freshman and the sixth-most by a freshman in ACC history.

Even when Zion Williamson returns to the lineup for Duke, it could be too late.

Dwayne Sutton of the Louisville Cardinals drives past De’Andre Hunter
Dwayne Sutton of the Louisville Cardinals drives past De’Andre Hunter

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.

"(It) was pretty exciting really, to see him move and have confidence in his movements", Krzyzewski said Friday. Yes, this team looks much different without Williamson, but the Blue Devils are looking at this stretch without him as a proving ground.

And while it sounds like Williamson is on his way to missing a fifth straight game, the Hall of Fame coach expressed optimism that he could be ready for next week's Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina.

While Williamson may be day-to-day due to his knee, don't expect the favored Blue Devils to miss a beat, as they will only continue to gain more traction as the trendy pick once tournament play begins. But as to whether that might be possible, Krzyzewski wouldn't say definitively one way or the other.

"His knee is going to be OK", Krzyzewski said.