AT approximately 8:18 ET last night Zion Williamson stunned the world and committed to the ‘brotherhood of Duke University’. The No. 2 ranked prospect in the 2018 recruiting class was widely expected to stay in state and pick South Carolina or Clemson. Things didn’t go according to plan…
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ZION’S commitment was followed by thousands of tweets and hundreds of video’s with fans voicing their displeasure. Williamson joins a Duke recruiting class that already boasts R.J. Barrett (1st overall), Cam Reddish (3rd overall) and Tre Jones (10th overall), giving the Blue Devils back-to-back years with four top-10 recruits. Coach K continues to stand out as the nation’s best recruiter as Duke completed an unprecedented sweep of the top three recruits.
WITH the Blue Devils likely to lose all five starters to the NBA next season, the basketball factory seems poised to enter next year as one of the best on paper teams ever assembled. Of course, for all the joy that Duke is experiencing, there is an equal amount of heartbreak for Clemson and South Carolina, who offered Williamson the chance to become an immortal figure of the program. Now it’s back to the drawing board for Brad Brownell and Frank Martin.
Image from si.com
LONG before Williamson’s commitment last night he had become an Internet sensation. Gaining fame in the era of social media for his powerful dunks and athletic dominance the 6’6″ 270-pound physical specimen became a household name for basketball fans. Viral YouTube clips of Williamson combining power and grace above the rim saw his games draw ridiculous crowds which included the likes of Drake and Odell Beckham Jr.
TURNING his back on his home state and joining the Duke family was a controverstional choice for Williamson. The opportunity to join the other top members of his 2018 recruiting class would have no doubt been appealing, but it doesn’t exactly fill a need for Duke. Williamson’s new teammates Reddish (6’7″) and Barrett (6’7″) check in at a similar height creating a crowded but exciting frontcourt.
LONG compared to LeBron James (athletically at least) it’s highly likely that Williamson will see minutes as a stretch-four or small-ball center in Coach K’s system. Even though Moses Brown and Jordan Brown, the 2nd and 3rd highest rated centers for the 2018 class, haven’t committed to a school yet, neither of them have been recruited by Duke.
Image from twitter.com
REGARDLESS of if anyone else joins the roster, there’s no doubt that this Duke team will put a lot of bums on seats next fall. This new super-team will generate endless offensive highlights with Reddish, Barrett and Williamson featuring regularly.
IN the battle for supremecy atop the collegiate recruiting ranks landing Williamson might have pushed the Blue Devils ahead of their blue-blood rivals in Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky. With little doubt left as to which school has the upper hand, the Duke powerhouse won’t be going away anytime soon.
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