Category Archives: Duke

WATCH: Duke’s Zion Williamson Flashes Insane Vertical on Block vs Virginia Tech

Category : Basketball , Duke , Mobile Sports , Sports

It didn’t take long for Zion Williamson to come up with a highlight reel play in the Sweet 16 showdown between Duke and Virginia Tech. At the 12 minute mark in the first half, Williamson rotated over to help and showed off his insane vertical leap by getting up and blocking a Kerry Blackshear Jr. shot that was at the top of the rectangle.

WATCH: Duke’s Zion Williamson Flashes Insane Vertical on Block vs Virginia Tech

Zion got UP for the rejection! 😱#MarchMadness | @DukeMbb
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 30, 2019

This isn’t the first time Zion has shown off his hops on the defensive side of the ball. A true two-way player who brings relentless energy on both sides of the basketball, Williamson has been known for his flashy defensive highlights almost as much as his legendary dunking. Most notably, Williamson closed out and got up on another insane block against Virginia back in January.

Insane block against UVA by #ZionWilliamson
— JULITO (@locosfgfan) March 21, 2019

Maybe Williamson has it out for schools in Virginia but the more likely answer is that Zion Williamson is an athletic freak of nature and unlike any other prospect that the basketball world has ever seen.

Zion Williamson Forced to Lead Duke over Virginia Tech Without Cam Reddish
With Cam Reddish out of the starting lineup due to a knee injury sustained in practice on Thursday, Zion is missing one of his most important supporting cast members. Despite the criticism cast towards Reddish this season and his subsequent slide down mock draft boards, he offered the Blue Devils their only reliable option behind the three-point line.
While Reddish’s skill set is a bit more suited for being a primary ball-handler as opposed to a spot up shooter, he still performed relatively well in his role and gave Duke an open option on almost every play (if he would knock it down or not is a different story). Without Reddish in the lineup, teams can get even more comfortable sagging off the three-point line and collapsing nearly the entire team into the paint when Williamson attacks the rim.

REPORT: Duke’s Cam Reddish Not Starting Vs. Virginia Tech in Sweet 16

Cam Reddish will not start in Friday night’s Sweet 16 matchup versus Virginia Tech. The initial report came courtesy of Stephen Wiseman of the Durham Herald-Sun.
“Problem with a knee is keeping Cam Reddish out of Duke lineup. He arrived at arena with team but is not currently warming up with them,” Wiseman tweeted.
Reddish averages 13.6 points and 3.7 rebounds for the Blue Devils this year. In his place, sophomore guard Alex O’Connell is starting.

Cam Reddish banged up his knee late in the Blue Devils' practice oN Thursday. Team was hoping ice/stretching would be enough to be in the starting lineup.
— Troy Machir (@TroyMachir) March 30, 2019

CBS’ Tracy Wolfson could not confirm if Reddish will be available or not for the whole game. In addition, Duke has not provided any official update.

Cam Reddish is not on the court warming up with the rest of his teammates. No official word from Duke.
— Adam Rowe (@AdamRoweTDD) March 30, 2019

This is a developing story, so more to come.

5 Best Duke Players Currently in NBA

Category : Basketball , Duke , Mobile Sports , Sports

Although Duke has the second most active players in the NBA, they lack the NBA star power that some of the other “blue blood” programs have in spades. With a number of players going in the lottery in recent years, there are plenty of Duke players with enormous upside at the NBA level yet few have seemed to reach their full potential.With their strongest recruiting class yet in 2018-2019, there is a good chance we see some new names surface on this list over the next few years. Zion Williamson, in particular, could end up finding himself close to the top of this list as soon as next year if he ends up playing to his full potential.That leads us to the question, who are the five best Duke basketball players currently in the NBA?5 Best Duke Players Currently in the NBA5. J.J. Redick, SG
It seems almost insane that given the success of Duke and the fact that they have converted into a one and done machine over the past few years that J.J. Redick would find himself on this list. The last holdover from the old days of four-year players dominating Duke, Redick’s shooting has led him to have a late career renaissance at age 34. Since turning 30, Redick has morphed into a sniper from deep and has thrived in a floor spacing offensive role. 4. Justise Winslow, PG/SF
Heading into the 2018-2019 season, many considered Winslow to be a lottery bust. However, even though Winslow put up inefficient offensive numbers to start his career, his defensive play had carved him out a regular spot in the rotation. With an immense talent that he struggled to tap into as an off-ball forward, the Heat decided to test out running him in a point-forward role and saw fantastic results. Filling up the stat sheet with points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks on a nightly basis, Winslow is a swiss-army knife style player that can impact the game on nearly every front. 3. Brandon Ingram, SG/SF
Another former Dukie that the NBA was ready to label a bust, Ingram instead enjoyed a breakout season playing alongside LeBron James. Especially following the All-Star break, Ingram turned into one of the leagues most dangerous scoring options and gave LeBron a bonafide secondary scoring option. However, a scare with DVT would end his season but thankfully Ingram should be healthy and ready to go for next season. 2. Jayson Tatum, SF/PF
Taken third overall in the 2017 NBA draft, Jayson Tatum is one of the few Duke prospects in recent years that has lived up to the hype – and then some. After finishing third in rookie of the year voting behind Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell, Tatum would go on to outplay the both of them during the postseason and was a crucial cog to Boston exceeding expectations and making a deep run without Max Salary Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. 1. Kyrie Irving, PG
By far the best current Duke player in the NBA, Kyrie Irving is an All-Star, All-NBA player, and World Champion among others. After initially playing sidekick to LeBron upon the King’s return to Cleveland, Irving jumped ship to the Celtics where he could lead his own team and has seen fantastic individual stats. However, the Celtics have struggled to integrate him and Hayward back into the lineup after their injuries and Irving’s personal successes are coming at the expense of the team’s success. Honorable Mention: Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter Jr., Jabari Parker

Zion Williamson NBA Comparison & Position Prediction for Duke Star

Category : Basketball , Duke , Mobile Sports , Sports

While listed as a small forward coming out of high school, Zion Williamson has played most of his college ball as an undersized (height-wise) power forward. Coming into Duke alongside top recruit (at the time) RJ Barrett and fellow top-five recruit Cam Reddish, Duke had a slight logjam at the small forward position. Barrett was afforded the opportunity to get the lion’s share of minutes as the primary scoring option on the wing, which forced Reddish and Williamson into unfamiliar roles. Cam Reddish has struggled in his role as a floor-spacing wing option, however, Zion has seamlessly transitioned into a once in a generation talent at his new position.This begs the question, what will Zion Williamson’s position be at the NBA level?Duke’s Zion Williamson Position Prediction in the NBADespite only standing 6’7″ and standing much shorter than nearly every other power forward in the league, Zion weighs an astounding 285 pounds. That would put Zion as the second heaviest player in the NBA. At the college level, Williamson’s strength and athleticism have allowed him to dominate despite his lack of height. Especially on the defensive end, Williamson is an immovable force down low who can close out shots on the perimeter with lightning speed. While it wouldn’t be realistic to expect Zion to physically dominate the game down low at the next level the way he is now, we really haven’t seen anyone with his physical tools before and he should be able to use those skills to his advantage from the jump. A lot of where Zion ends up finding himself playing depends on the team that ends up drafting him. For example, if Zion were to be drafted by the New York Knicks, he would seamlessly slot in at the power forward spot in the absence of Kristaps Porzingis. The Knicks already have promising young scorer Kevin Knox manning the small forward position and have a gaping void in terms of a presence down low should DeAndre Jordan walk in free agency. On the other hand, if the Cleveland Cavaliers land the first overall pick, they already have an established All-Star power forward in Kevin Love. With a gaping hole at the wing, Williamson would fit the Cavaliers perfectly as an aggressive rebounding small forward whose defensive versatility could be deployed all over the court from his spot on the wing. Moreover, Williamson’s court vision and ability to collapse a defense would likely result in plenty of wide open looks (sounds like one of Love’s former teammates…) behind the three-point line for one of the surest shooting big men in NBA history. Zion Williamson NBA Player ComparisonAs far as a player comparison at the NBA level, there really isn’t any viable option as we haven’t seen anyone with the raw physical tools that Zion comes into the league possessing. Instead, you have to pick apart Zion’s game piece by piece to find a unique comparison for each aspect of his game.Athleticism: LeBron James This one feels almost a little TOO easy. Zion’s ability to get up to his top speed, leaping ability and body control are all very reminiscent of the King. While it may take a year or two for him to get comfortable with the speed of the NBA, he should establish himself as the premier athlete in the league from the moment he steps onto the court.

Insane block against UVA by #ZionWilliamson
— JULITO (@locosfgfan) March 21, 2019
Frame: Charles Barkley
Standing 6’7″, Zion Williamson’s frame basically looks like a jacked up Charles Barkley on steroids. A chiseled 285 pounds, comparing him to Chuck – who only weighed about 250 at his heaviest at Auburn – seems almost unfair. Offensive Skillset: Blake Griffin
While shorter (and heavier/stronger/more athletic) than Blake Griffin, Zion and Blake attack the basket in a very similar way coming out of college. Known exclusively as a dunker coming out of Oklahoma, Griffin flashed the ability (in small sample sizes) that he could one day possess a well-rounded offensive game. Fast forward to 2019 and Blake Griffin is a dynamic scoring threat with an outside shot! Expect a similar trajectory for Zion.Defensive Skillset: I honestly have no clue
This is where Zion loses me. From a defensive standpoint, there has never been a player with Zion’s physical tools that plays with such a high level of defensive intensity. Able to seamlessly transition between the perimeter and interior with the speed to cover guards and the size/strength to bang with the big men, Zion projects to be a once in a lifetime type of defender. His leaping ability gives him the chance to send back shots from players much taller than him while his initial burst of speed allows him to easily jump passing lanes and create turnovers in a variety of ways.

Zion Williamson NBA Draft Projections: Chances Knicks Land Duke Star

There’s little argument about the fact that Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson is the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The big question becomes who he’ll play for at the next level, and that will, of course, be decided by the NBA draft lottery. In turn, the door is open for a number of teams to have a chance at him, but the New York Knicks remain a top option to monitor.Although nothing has been openly stated about the Knicks’ draft plans, the chatter will begin to pick up in a big way after the lottery. But as things stand, there’s a silver lining in the team’s tough 2018-19 season, which is that they’re among the favorites to wind up with the first overall selection.We’re going to take a dive into the current NBA draft outlook and the latest chances for the Knicks to wind up with Zion on their roster heading into the 2019-20 season.Knicks’ Chances at No. 1 NBA Draft Pick, Zion WilliamsonThe lottery features a structure which will give the teams with the three worst records equal chances to land the No. 1 pick and also to wind up with a top-four selection. At the time this is being written, the Knicks hold the worst record in the NBA at 14-61, a mark which is 2.5 games worse than the next-closest team.As Tankathon shows in their latest NBA draft lottery breakdown, New York is incredibly close to being a lock for the bottom three. This means they would hold a 14.0 percent chance at the No. 1 pick and a 52.1 percent chance to wind up with a pick between one-to-four.Here’s a look at the standings for the 10 teams who have the best chance at a top choice, how many games back they are and their chances at the No. 1 pick.
No. 1 New York Knicks, 0.0 games back: 14.0 percent chance
No. 2 Phoenix Suns, 2.5 games back: 14.0 percent chance
No. 3 Cleveland Cavaliers, 4.5 games back: 14.0 percent chance
No. 4 Chicago Bulls, 6.5 games back: 12.5 percent chance
No. 5 Atlanta Hawks, 13 games back: 10.5 percent chance
No. 6 Atlanta Hawks from DAL, 15 games back: 9.0 percent chance
No. 7 Memphis Grizzlies, 16 games back: 7.5 percent chance
No. 8 Washington Wizards, 16.5 games back: 6.0 percent chance
No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans, 17 games back: 4.5 percent chance
No. 10 Los Angeles Lakers, 19 games back: 3.0 percent chance
Knicks’ Current Outlook for NBA DraftThe positive news following this NBA season is that the Knicks are primed with their best possible chance to land Williamson. Unfortunately, two other teams, likely the Suns and Cavaliers, are going to have the exact same chances, even though Cleveland has won five more games than the Knicks.Beyond that, the Bulls and Hawks holding chances justs lightly lower at 12.5 and 10.5 percent will make things even more interesting. Obviously, it’s just a matter of New York getting a bit lucky and having the ping pong balls fall the right way. Of every team listed above, it’s hard to envision any except a major point guard-needy team like the Phoenix Suns taking Ja Morant over Zion.If by some chance the Suns are sold on drafting the Murray State star and wind up with the top pick, the Knicks could make a play by attempting to trade into that No. 1 spot.READ NEXT: Ja Morant Over Zion Williamson NBA Draft Argument Goes Beyond Stats

Zion Williamson’s Parents: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Zion Williamson’s parents, Sharonda Sampson and Lateef Anderson, along with Zion’s stepfather, Lee Anderson, have been with the Duke superstar since the start. Zion comes from an athletic family as his mother, Sharonda, ran track and his father, Lateef, played college football. Zion’s stepfather, Lee, also played basketball and worked with Zion to develop his game. After announcing his commitment to Duke, Zion detailed what Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski told his family that convinced him to go to Durham. “When Coach K came to my house and spoke to me and my family, it wasn’t just about basketball and what he could do for me in one year,” Zion noted to Go Upstate. “It was how he can build Zion as a brand on and off the court for like the next 20 years or the rest of my life.”When Zion is not on the basketball court, he enjoys watching cartoons with his mother. “He’s a mama’s boy and when we get time alone he’ll come over and we’ll watch the cartoon called Naruto,” Sampson said, per Deadspin. “I don’t know what that is, but we’ll sit around and we’ll watch that. So, yeah, you don’t know that about him.”Learn more about Zion’s parents. 1. Zion Admitted to Crying in His Mother’s Arms After Injuring His Knee Against North CarolinaZion’s mother is his rock and provided encouragement to her son when he could not go back into the game against North Carolina. The initial Duke-UNC game was billed as one of the biggest college basketball games in years with celebrities in attendance like former President Barack Obama and Spike Lee. After Duke won the ACC tournament, Zion detailed how much he wanted to go back in the game. “I was sitting there, on the training table,” Zion explained to North State Journal. “The game was on. My mom walks in, and I broke down. I’d been thinking about that game for so long. … I just cried in her arms. She told me that everything happens for a reason. She told me I’d be back.”2. Zion’s Stepfather Played Basketball at ClemsonPrior to Zion’s commitment to Duke, Clemson was a heavy favorite to land the big man. According to 247 Sports, their prediction gave Clemson an 85 percent chance to sign Zion. The school had family ties with Zion’s stepfather playing at Clemson. “They did everything right,” Lee told Tiger Net. “It’s nothing against the coaches. Nothing against them at all. I told Clemson when they came in the other night, ‘Somewhere along the way, you all had a mile and a half lead on the situation. I don’t know what happened along the way but you all had a big distance.’ The next thing I know I hear Zion saying South Carolina and North Carolina and Duke is inching closer. I was like, ‘Woah.’ I don’t think it was anything they did that was wrong. They recruited him hard. They recruited him fair. They were selling Clemson and I thought they did a great job. I think it was a serious point for them to recruit the way they did and they showed Zion they were serious about wanting his services.”According to Sports Reference, Lee played for the Tigers from 1975 to 1978 but averaged just 1.6 minutes per game. 3. Zion’s Mom Ran Track at Livingstone CollegeZion’s mother is also an athlete and ran track at Livingstone College. According to the Charlotte Observer, Sharonda is a middle school teacher. Zion’s rise to fame surprised even his parents. “Sometimes it doesn’t dawn on you as parents,” Sharonda explained to the Charlotte Observer. “But all the time, when he was growing up playing, he stood out among his peers. When you have elderly people come to watch and they don’t know who you are, and they’re saying this boy will be special and we’ll see him on TV, you start to think there may be something to this.”4. Zion Has a Younger Brother, Noah, Who Once Fell Asleep in His Stepfather’s Arms While He Was Coaching an AAU Game

Zion Williamson’s AAU coach on the sidelines with his son asleep AF in his arms. Loudest gym in America this kid is LIGHTS OUT
— Podfathers Podcast (@PodfathersShow) July 27, 2017
Zion has a younger brother, Noah, who the Duke star is close with. Back in 2017, Noah fell asleep in Zion’s stepfather’s arms as he coached an AAU game. USA Today detailed the moment that went viral. Noah is Zion Williamson’s 3-year-old half-brother. Noah managed to sleep through all the hoopla in the arms of dad Lee Anderson, who was coaching SC Supreme at the time.
Noah’s ability to snooze despite the noise and overflow crowd did not go unnoticed on social media.5. Yahoo Sports Reported Adidas Rep Merl Code Asked Kansas For Housing for Zion’s Family During His RecruitmentYahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel reported that there is an audio recording between Adidas rep Merl Code and Kansas assistant Kurtis Townsend discussing the recruitment of Zion. The tape was not allowed into evidence during the trial involving former agent Christian Dawkins along with Adidas executives so there is “limited context to it,” per Yahoo Sports. Yahoo Sports provided an overview of the recorded conversation where the Adidas rep was essentially asking for benefits for Zion’s family. In a taped conversation that was not allowed into evidence today, Adidas’ Merl Code and Kansas asst Kurtis Townsend discuss the recruitment of Zion Williamson, who wound up at Duke. In arguing for admission, a transcript was read by Code defense atty Mark Moore.
Code: “Hey, but between me and you, he asked about some stuff … I know what he’s asking for. He’s asking for opportunities from an occupational perspective, he’s asking for cash in the pocket and he’s asking for housing for him and his family.”
Kurtis Townsend: “I’ve got to just try to work and figure out a way because if that’s what it takes to get him here for 10 months, we’re going to have to do it some way.”
Because it was denied into evidence, there is limited context to it.