Duke Basketball: Blue Devils’ frontcourt is weak without Zion Williamson

Syracuse Orange

Zion Williamson Leaves Game With Eye Injury

Cam Reddish provided the most dramatic moment of Duke's season so far with an oh-my-god-so-wide-open 3-pointer just before time expired to give top-ranked Duke an 80-78 victory at No. 13 Florida State on Saturday.

Zion Williamson looked a lot like Zion Williamson for a half before the presence of Trent Forrest's fingers in his left eye interrupted his dribble drive and sent the freshman to the sideline for the remainder of the game. The star freshman left the game after getting poked in the eye late in the first half.

He suffered from double vision and sat on the bench in the second half but Krzyzewski said it's possible that Williamson will play in Duke's next game against Syracuse.

WIthout Williamson for more than a half, the Blue Devils tallied a total of three blocks for the game - barely more than a third of their season average (7.9). On almost identical back-to-back plays, fellow freshmen R.J. Barrett and Williamson elevated against Florida State's behemoth, Koumadje.

Down 78-77 with just seconds remaining, Duke somehow got Reddish open for an open three, which he drilled to put the Blue Devils up two with under a second left.

Williamson got hurt when he drove to the basket. He missed the second, but the Blue Devils retained possession after a review overruled a call on the floor that the ball had gone out of bounds of a Duke player setting up Reddish's shot. Duke as a team was outrebounded 39-34 and gave up 10 dunks, many on uncontested lobs to the bigger Seminoles. "They rose to the different occasion".

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The Noles ended the first half on an 8-0 run.

The experience of winning in a hostile environment, without their best player, will serve Duke well as the season progresses. But that's a big loss.

Williamson came out for second-half warmups and participated in the layup line. "Whenever a kid hits a game victor like that, it's storybook".

"The good thing - he didn't have headaches", Krzyzewski said.

Defense Makes StatementDuke enters the Florida State game as the only team in the top five of both offensive and defensive efficiency, and one of two teams in the top 10 for both (Virginia)...

The Duke Blue Devils needed someone to come up big if they wanted to take down the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday. Duke is 3-1 in those previous four, which have all been away from home. Florida State could slip a little but is also deserving of holding on to its top-15 ranking.

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