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Sport Duke expects balanced talent in 1st year after Zion

02:00  24 october  2019
02:00  24 october  2019 Source:   ap.org

Luke DeCock: With talent drain at the top, it's a wide-open ACC basketball race (for a change)

  Luke DeCock: With talent drain at the top, it's a wide-open ACC basketball race (for a change) It's a good year to be a mid-tier ACC basketball team. After unprecedented player turnover - there are only two returning all-ACC players, both off the third team - this may be not only the most wide-open basketball season in years, but a rare down year for the ACC. Zion Williamson is gone, the stars of Virginia's national championship team are gone, North Carolina is starting over with another freshman point guard and Duke is starting over with another freshman class. Meanwhile, Big East exiles Louisville and Notre Dame may have the best returning veteran talent in the league.

He expects his 40th Duke team to take a collective approach because its talent is spread a bit more evenly throughout the roster. And it all starts with point guard A year ago when Duke was replacing all five starters, nobody was there to help Williamson or the other freshmen because, as Krzyzewski

Krzyzewski expects the Blue Devils to be more balanced this season with a plethora of returners to compliment the freshmen, including sophomore "We don't have a player like Zion or RJ that could make up for some slippage because of their talent level," Krzyzewksi said. "We have talent , but I

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Mike Krzyzewski describes his latest Duke team as old-fashioned — with an emphasis on old.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski answers a question during the Atlantic Coast Conference NCAA college basketball media day in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)© Provided by The Associated Press Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski answers a question during the Atlantic Coast Conference NCAA college basketball media day in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

Sure, the Blue Devils will be heavy on freshmen again after replacing one batch of one-and-done players with another. But surrounding them will be a deep, strong group of veterans with a renewed dedication to defense — a staple of Krzyzewski's past Duke teams.

"We have a lot of old talent," senior captain Javin DeLaurier said, "and a lot of young talent."

Watch: Pelicans' Lonzo Ball connects with Zion Williamson on alley-oop

  Watch: Pelicans' Lonzo Ball connects with Zion Williamson on alley-oop This is something we’re going to see a whole lot over the next several seasons. The new-look New Orleans Pelicans, led by Lonzo Ball and rookie No. 1 pick Zion Williamson, putting up highlight-reel plays. © Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsThe Chicago Bulls found this out first-hand during their preseason game against Zion and Co. on Wednesday.Check out this perfect alley-oop from Ball to Williamson in transition early in the game.Lonzo to Zion for the emphatic flush. Good luck, NBA. pic.twitter.com/WMPoS9ra6q— Sportsnaut (@Sportsnaut) October 10, 2019It’s honestly just a matter of time before Mt. Zion takes down a backboard.

Zion Lateef Williamson (born July 6, 2000) is an American professional basketball player for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association In his freshman and only season with Duke , Williamson was named ACC Player of the Year , ACC Athlete of the Year and ACC Rookie of the Year .

The Duke Blue Devils anticipate Zion Williamson to play in their next game but they likely won’t have Duke ’s Marques Bolden (20) is escored off the court after an injury in the first half against North Carolina on Former Gamecock Holloman honors family, upholds tradition in 1 st year at South Pointe.

These Blue Devils, ranked No. 4 in the preseason AP Top 25 and again the preseason favorites in the Atlantic Coast Conference, might not have a single player who can captivate the college basketball world quite like Zion Williamson did a year ago when he and RJ Barrett turned mundane early season games into must-see events with their highlight-reel dunks and once-in-a-generation athletic ability.

That's OK, Krzyzewski said. He expects his 40th Duke team to take a collective approach because its talent is spread a bit more evenly throughout the roster.

And it all starts with point guard Tre Jones — the only member of last year's freshman class to return for his sophomore season, and the only returning player who averaged more than nine points.

Lonzo, Zion connect on absurd alley-oop

  Lonzo, Zion connect on absurd alley-oop New Orleans Pelicans rookie No. 1 pick Zion Williamson has made several highlight-reel plays thus far during the preseason. © Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsThat did not change Sunday afternoon against the San Antonio Spurs. Check out Mt. Zion throwing down an alley-oop on a pass from Lonzo Ball from beyond half court.Lonzo Ball to Zion three quarter court alley-oop. Just filthy. pic.twitter.com/55lW4tZLmR— Sportsnaut (@Sportsnaut) October 13, 2019That’s just absurd from both Ball and Williamson. The two are going to be so much fun to watch once the regular season tips off.

DURHAM, N.C. — Zion Williamson delighted the Cameron Crazies with pregame high-fives and a ferocious dunk in warmups, but his night ended shortly after tip-off. Duke ’s Zion Williamson exited the court and has yet to return to the bench after leaving court early in first half after awkward slip

Duke has had a top-three pick in the last four NBA drafts. That trend will possibly continue for a fifth straight year depending on where Bagley gets drafted. College basketball has never seen a team with three freshmen this talented all on the same team. You can already pencil Duke in as No. 1 in

"Last year, playing with RJ and Zion especially, you have to give them the ball," Krzyzewski said. "They needed the ball so they could not only score but move the defense. With this team, Tre's responsibility in that regard goes up, and sometimes we all watched those two kids play instead of playing off them. ... Tre's going to be as key a person as we have and our leader."

Krzyzewski is counting on Jones and seniors Jack White and DeLaurier to help bring along a promising freshman class ranked third nationally by Scout.com and led by Cassius Winston, Wendell Moore, Matthew Hurt and five-star center Vernon Carey Jr. — who inherited Williamson's No. 1 jersey.

A year ago when Duke was replacing all five starters, nobody was there to help Williamson or the other freshmen because, as Krzyzewski rhetorically asked, "What are you going to help Zion with?"

"I like the fact that this is more of an old-fashioned dynamic for us, and I think we can be pretty good if we can make sure that we start it with defense," Krzyzewski said. "Start it with defense, and offense will come from the defense."

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  Pierce: Williamson has to cut weight to save his knees Does Zion Williamson need to lose a few pounds? Paul Pierce thinks so.Pelicans star Zion Williamson will miss the start of the 2019-20 NBA regular season as he recovers from an unspecified knee injury he suffered last week - and both fans and analysts are worrying about the trend of lower-body issues the No. 1 overall pick has endured over the last year.

Zion Williamson, the surefire No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and the overwhelming favorite to sweep the 2019 National Player of the Year awards, went down with an injury to his right knee Coach K said after the game that the injury is a mild knee sprain, but that his status will not be known until tomorrow.

Rather than treat his year at Duke like a 401K, he’s attacked it with reckless abandon and elevated Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) dunks the ball during the second half against the St Zion Williamson (1) in action as Duke played Kentucky in an NCAA college basketball game at the

WHO'S BACK

Jones shapes up as the most important player on this team because of his tenacious on-the-ball defense and his knack for involving his teammates — his average of 5.3 assists ranked second in the ACC, and he was tops with a school-record assist-to-turnover ratio of plus-3.62. Junior guard Alex O'Connell could be a breakout candidate with an increase in playing time after hitting nearly 38% of his 3-pointers a year ago.

FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2019, file photo, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski talks with a referee in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla. This season’s college basketball schedule at Madison Square Garden tips off next month with a marquee doubleheader featuring four powerhouse programs: Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser, File)© Provided by The Associated Press FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2019, file photo, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski talks with a referee in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla. This season’s college basketball schedule at Madison Square Garden tips off next month with a marquee doubleheader featuring four powerhouse programs: Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser, File)

WHO'S GONE

In addition to the departed freshman trio of Williamson, Barrett and Cam Reddish, the Blue Devils also must replace one of their top interior players — Marques Bolden, who bypassed his senior season to turn pro and was fighting for a roster spot with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Those departures leave White, who averaged 4.7 rebounds a season ago, as the only returnee to average more than four.

Zion Williamson to miss 6-8 weeks after undergoing knee surgery

  Zion Williamson to miss 6-8 weeks after undergoing knee surgery Zion Williamson to miss 6-8 weeks after undergoing knee surgeryNew Orleans opens its much anticipated 2019-20 schedule on Tuesday against the defending champion Toronto Raptors in Canada. The earliest side of his recovery timeline would keep him out until the first week of December, and an eight-week window would push his return closer to Christmas, when the Pelicans are scheduled to visit the Denver Nuggets. Either way, Williamson will miss somewhere between a quarter and a third of a season in which he was a favorite for Rookie of the Year.

Duke forward Zion Williamson dunks during the second half against St. John's. He’s been playing against NBA-caliber players for a few years now and is one of the best on-ball point Zion Williamson (1) in action as Duke played Kentucky in an NCAA college basketball game at the Champions Classic.

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BIG JUMP

Cassius Stanley has already erased Williamson's name in the record book — at least, for one impressive athletic feat. The school posted video last month of Stanley breaking Williamson's 1-year-old school record for vertical leap at testing, though school officials did not specify how high either player jumped.

THE SCHEDULE

Duke again has a challenging schedule lined up, starting with the opener against Kansas on Nov. 5 in the Champions Classic in New York. The Blue Devils will visit Michigan State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and the conference schedule is highlighted by the two matchups with North Carolina. It also promises to be a special night on Jan. 28 — Duke's home game against Pittsburgh marks Jeff Capel's first game as a visitor at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The former Duke player and right-hand man to Krzyzewski is entering his second season as the Panthers' coach and their only meeting last year came at Pitt.

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No. 4 Duke edges third-ranked Kansas 68-66 .
NEW YORK (AP) — Tre Jones scored 15 points and Cassius Stanley added 11 of his 13 points in the second half to help No. 4 Duke beat third-ranked Kansas 68-66 in the opener of the Champions Classic on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. While Duke doesn't have the star-studded freshmen class of last season of Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett, coach Mike Krzyzewski may have a more balanced team, capable of making plays down the stretch when needed.Trailing 61-60 with 2:29 left, Stanley drove to the basket and made the layup and was fouled. The freshman guard converted the free throw to give the Blue Devils a one-point lead.

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