Zion Williamson came into his freshman year at Duke, as the second ranked recruit on his own team behind R.J. Barrett. However now that the season is done, that is no longer the case. His one season at Duke was nothing short of legendary. Zion basically did everything a player can do in one season, besides win a championship.
On a loaded team that includes two other men that will also be drafted in this year’s lottery, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish, Zion Williamson was clearly the best player on the floor nearly every night. He averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists for the season. Zion was incredibly efficient, shooting 74.7 from two point range and 68 percent from the field overall. He also shot 33.8 percent from three-point range, on 2.2 attempts per game and 64 percent from the charity stripe, on 6.2 attempts per game. Williamson scored 20 or more points 23 times, 25 or more 16 times and 30 plus points five times, in his lone season on Duke’s campus. The result was a 32-6 record for Zion’s Duke team.
Zion Williamson’s season high in scoring was a 35 point explosion against Syracuse on January 14. He grabbed a career high 17 boards against Boston College on February 5. The big man dished off a season best seven assist against Pitt on January 22. He also swatted six shots in just his second NCAA game, against an overmatched Army team on November 11, a season best in blocks. Zion had a season best five steals, four times. He did it against San Diego State, Stetson, St Johns and Syracuse.
Zion Williamson also excelled in Tournament Play. He scored at least 21 points in every ACC and NCAA Tournament game. He averaged 27 points in the ACC Tournament, in route to helping his team win the tournament title and earn an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament. Williamson posted 26 points per game in the NCAA Tournament before Duke bowed out. They were upset 67-68 by Michigan State in the Elite Eight. Zion grabbed double-digit rebounds in four of the seven tournament games as well.
Take a look at these jaw dropping highlights of Zion Williamson provided by the ACC Digital Network YouTube channel:
The list of awards and accolades that Zion Williamson received for his one college season is long. Zion was First Team All ACC and a consensus First Team All American. He was a member of the ACC All Freshman Team and All Defensive Team. Zion Williamson was the ACC Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year all in one! He was the MVP of the ACC Tournament and of course was selected to the ACC All Tournament Team. Zion was also selected to the NCAA East Regional All Tournament Team.
Zion Williamson became number 43 on a prestigious list of players to win the Wooden Award, given by the Los Angeles Athletic Club for the most outstanding men’s college basketball player. Zion also became man number 51 to receive the Naismith Award that is just as prestigious. The Atlanta Tip Off Club presents the Naismith Award Winner annually. Williamson joins all time great NCAA players such as Larry Bird, Ralph Sampson, Michael Jordan, David Robinson, Larry Johnson, Christian Laettner, Tim Duncan and Kevin Durant, that have won both major awards.
The real set back that Zion Williamson experienced in college, aside from not winning the NCAA Tournament, was his knee injury against North Carolina. The injury was unlike anything seen before, as his power and force caused him to explode through his shoe, creating a knee strain. Williamson missed five games following the injury. Counting the game he left with the injury, Zion was sorely missed as Duke posted a record of just 3-3 in his absence. Inside Edition covered the story, showing the injury and how the show may have exploded, in the following YouTube video: