Duke star Zion Williamson may have his work lower out for him if he tries to dunk over UCF’s Tacko Fall within the second spherical of the NCAA match, as a result of the 7-foot-6 heart shouldn’t be about to make it simple for him.
“It’s totally onerous [to dunk on me],” Fall advised NCAA.com on Friday evening. “I imply, I will not enable it. I will not enable it. I will not enable him placing me on one in all his spotlight tapes.”
Fall and Williamson, who’s 6-foot-7, are set to go head-to-head — or at the very least head-to-shoulder — on Sunday after their groups superior from the match’s first spherical Friday. High-seeded Duke beat North Dakota State 85-62, and No. 9-seed UCF trounced Eight-seeded VCU 73-58.
We began with 68 on Tuesday evening. Now we’re right down to 32. This is how we rank them heading into Saturday.
UCF heart Tacko Fall, a religious Muslim from Senegal, desires to make use of the NCAA match stage to advertise peace. “We simply should learn to get alongside,” Fall stated. “… Study to like one another.”
Because the tallest participant in school basketball, Fall is one in all a form, however he stated Williamson, the projected prime decide on this yr’s NBA draft, is a novel expertise.
“He is somebody, just about, we have by no means seen in weight, measurement. He is immense, and he is so fast,” Fall stated. “However the coaches are going to have an excellent sport plan, particularly Coach [Johnny] Dawkins, I really feel like, as a result of he performed for Duke, so he will have to assist us out so much.”
Dawkins performed for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski from 1982 to 1986, and following his NBA profession returned to spend greater than 10 years on Coach Okay’s workers earlier than leaving to take his first head-coaching job at Stanford in 2008.
However regardless of his shut ties to this system, Dawkins stated after UCF’s win that he hasn’t been capable of watch the Blue Devils a lot this season.
Tacko Fall, UCF’s 7-foot-6 heart, had 13 factors and 18 rebounds within the Golden Knights’ first-round win over VCU on Friday evening. Photograph by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Photos
“Whenever you’re doing what we do for the final six months, we do not have a lot time to see anybody aside from your opponents,” Dawkins stated. “I’ve seen them play bits and items, three minutes right here, 4 minutes there, all through the season if you’re taking a break out of your scouts. I have never seen a lot of them. I am trying ahead to seeing them this night and tomorrow as we begin to put together.
“However I do know Coach. He is wonderful, and I do know the younger males I’ve heard a lot about like Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish. These guys are terrific, terrific gamers together with the purpose guard [Tre] Jones and the remainder of their gamers. I do know they’re actually proficient, and it may be problem.”
Dawkins additionally stated he would have preferred to keep away from Duke within the match, and never solely as a result of the Blue Devils are favored to chop down the nets after the Remaining 4.
“I used to be like — we would moderately not play one another, after all,” Dawkins stated of Krzyzewski. “We’re pals. I performed for him. I’ve labored for him for over a decade. It isn’t one thing you stay up for doing. We all know in any such setting — and we’re all rivals. We do what we now have to do, however it’s not one thing we’d decide — let’s play one another. That would not occur underneath every other circumstance aside from a match. It’s what it’s with that. You have to get able to compete. They are going to do the identical factor, and each groups will come out ready.”
As for Fall, who had 13 factors and 18 rebounds in opposition to VCU, Dawkins stated his large man is simply beginning to turn into a power on the courtroom.
“We have been difficult Tacko all season lengthy about actually imposing his will on the sport,” Dawkins stated. “I believe most likely the final six weeks, you began to see a flip in that. He began to see what he was able to doing on the market on the ground. So I am excited for him. He will get 18 rebounds in an NCAA match sport, a double-double, that is having a huge effect on a sport, and he is able to doing that. So I am simply actually pleased for him. I am pleased he is realizing the kind of impression he can have on each ends of the ground.”