During his lone season as a Duke Blue Devil, Zion Williamson was easily the most commanding player in the college basketball circuit. Listed at 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds as an 18-year-old, the southpaw managed to assert his dominance on both sides of the paint.
As soon as the high-flying forward put on the Duke uniform, Williamson was instantly beneficial for Coach K and co.
In only their first regular season game, the star-studded Duke team demolished the Kentucky Wildcats 118-84. While RJ Barrett led the Devils with 33 points, Zion recorded a quick 28-point, 7-rebound performance in merely 23 minutes of action.
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Jay Williams compared Zion Williamson to Charles Barkley & Dominique Wilkins
After the conclusion of the Blue Devils-Wildcats bout, the panel of ESPN analysts – Jay Williams and Seth Greenberg – analysed the performances. In one of the segment, the host even asked them to mention an NBA player comparison for Zion and RJ.
While speaking about Williamson’s frame, Jay compared the youngster to a combination of Charles Barkley and Dominique Wilkins. The ESPN analyst said:
“For Zion Williamson, I will go with the Charles Barkley-like frame, that aggression that he plays with, with Dominique Wilkins hops. That’s a scary combination. Let’s put it into perspective – Boban, who plays for the Clippers, he’s 7″3′, he weighs 280 pounds. Zion Williamson, 6″7′, weighs 5 more pounds than Boabn who is 7″3′. I mean that’s ridiculous for the sides and the frame that Zion has.”
“He’s not nearly as good as I was in my heyday”: Charles Barkley
Zion had one terrific year with Duke. The top prospect went on to average 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game.
Throughout the long season, Williamson kept getting compared to Charles Barkley by various analysts from all over the world. Definitely, that was going to sting Barkley.
A few months after Zanos went to the Pelicans as their #1 pick, The Round Mound of Rebound expressed his frustrations. Chuck admitted that the Zion Williamson-Charles Barkley wasn’t a fair one. In an interview with Dan Patrick, Sir Charles ranted:
“Well, it’s not fair to compare him to me. He’s not nearly as good as I was in my heyday. He’s really talented [but] he hasn’t even played in an official NBA game yet and Dominque is in the Hall of Fame also. But, listen, I love the kid, I wish him nothing but the best but it’s disrespectful to compare him to me already. I’m in the Hall of Fame, I was a hell of a player but to compare him to me and Dominique, two guys who were great players in the Hall of Fame, that’s not fair to him and that’s not fair to me and Dominique, to be honest with you.”
Currently averaging 25.8 points, 7 rebounds, and 3.6 in his young career, it is pretty safe to say that the NOLA All-Star is slowly meeting up to all the expectations set for him.
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