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Coach Ok lauds ‘actually good exercise’ by Zion

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski stated star freshman Zion Williamson had his “first actually good exercise” Thursday as he continues his restoration from a sprained proper knee, though he stays uncertain to play in Saturday’s regular-season finale in opposition to No. Three North Carolina.

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Krzyzewski stated Friday that Williamson would have one other exercise with out contact later within the day barring any setbacks after his exercise Thursday. And whereas it feels like Williamson is on his option to lacking a fifth straight sport, the Corridor of Fame coach expressed optimism that he could possibly be prepared for subsequent week’s ACC match in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“The best way it is going, he isn’t going to be uncertain for the match,” Krzyzewski stated. Thursday’s exercise “was fairly thrilling, actually, to see him transfer and believe in his actions. Now we have to get him into situation and have him do some work” in opposition to contact.

Williamson was damage within the opening minute of final month’s loss to the Tar Heels, full with the far-reaching weird picture of his left foot tearing via his shoe as he fell to the court docket. He has missed 4 video games since.

Williamson is averaging 21.6 factors and eight.eight rebounds together with being a strolling spotlight reel of jaw-dropping athleticism and high-flying dunks. He is made himself a candidate to be nationwide participant of the 12 months and the No. 1 general NBA draft choose, becoming a member of freshman teammate and ACC scoring chief RJ Barrett (23.Three factors) to present the Blue Devils an unstoppable one-two punch.

Duke (26-Four, 14-Three ACC) is Three-2 within the practically 5 full video games with out Williamson.

“He is so team-oriented,” Krzyzewski stated. “I feel it bothers him that he hasn’t been with us. However we won’t let him push the method an excessive amount of to the place his loyalty to his crew — and he hasn’t — goes in opposition to him coming again the best way he ought to come again.”

An all-access collection documenting the Blue Devils’ preparation for the 2018-19 season, solely on ESPN+. Watch on ESPN+

UNC coach Roy Williams stated Thursday the Tar Heels (25-5, 15-2) would not deal with whether or not Williamson could be prepared.

“We’re nonetheless making ready like Zion’s going to play,” Williams stated. “And on the identical time, they are going to make that call so we now have no say over it — so why fear about that a part of it?”

Krzyzewski stated the fourth-ranked Blue Devils will announce Williamson’s standing for the ACC matchup after Saturday morning’s shootaround.

“We’ll put it out,” Krzyzewski stated. “I’ve by no means appreciated taking part in that sport or when somebody performs that sport with me. It is disrespectful. … I do not assume they’re nervous about if Zion performs or not. They’re nervous about their very own efficiency.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.


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