Zion Williamson will announce his college decision this Saturday night at 8pm EST at Spartanburg Day High School in Spartanburg, SC. He is down to Clemson, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina. No word yet on if the event will be livestreamed, but chances are it will.
Williamson is the #3 overall player and #1 PF in the 2018 class according to 247sports.com. Duke is looking to add to it’s loaded 2018 class that already includes the #1 (R.J. Barrett), #2 (Cameron Reddish), and #10 (Tre Jones) players in the country.
Many fans first learned about Zion through to his various mixtapes:
He even got the attention of Drake, who had a custom Spartanburg Day jersey made for himself:
Williamson is a unique and intriguing prospect because he’s extremely athletic, but hasn’t developed a consistent outside shot. Many compare him to Larry Johnson, another undersized PF who won a National Championship at UNLV and was selected #1 overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1991 NBA Draft.
Duke fans know that Coach K likes to have a stretch four on the foster, someone who can play inside but also step out and hit three point shots. So how would Williamson fit in Coach K’s system? In his USA Today blog from Sept. 11th he wrote:
“I had a talk with Coach K recently and I asked him how I would fit into his system with the two players he already has committed in my class.
So he started telling me his original plan for the class and how he’d already planned to get those two players and how everything is working according to his plan. He said that every year he changes his system with new players. He said he was gonna play me the way he played LeBron (James) in the Olympics in 2012 so I did my research!
Coach K gave him the chance to showcase that he was still the best player in the world.
I thought that was a real, genuine answer because Coach K is always 10 steps ahead.”
In 16 Olympic Games under Coach K, LeBron averaged 14.5 points, 5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and nearly 2 steals a game on rosters full of NBA All Stars and future Hall of Famers.
This was one of the reasons Duke led in the Crystal Ball for so long:
But as you can see from the graph above, something happened. Duke now isn’t even considered to be in the Top 4:
So what exactly changed?
Could it be Duke’s roster is going to be too loaded and he feels he may not have a chance to showcase himself for the NBA?
Does he look at schools like Clemson and South Carolina and think he could lead them to their first National Championship?
Or could it be he simply would prefer staying closer to home for his one year in college before he heads off to the NBA?
One way or the other, we’ll find out this Sat. night. While Clemson seems to have all the momentum, never count out Coach K in recruiting.