UNC coach Roy Williams on Zion Williamson’s injury: ‘That was a huge blow’

Roy Williams coached No. 8 North Carolina to an 88-72 victory over top-ranked Duke on Wednesday, but one key member of the Blue Devils’ starting lineup was missing for the majority of the game.

Star forward Zion Williamson went down less than 40 seconds in the game with a mild knee strain after he slipped, ripped open his shoe and immediately fell to the floor. With Williamson out for the remainder of the game, Williams said, it was “a big blow” for the Blue Devils, who had to make last-minute adjustments to account for the absence of their top player.

“When a big fella goes out of the game, it changes a lot of stuff for them. Zion Williamson, I’ve never seen anything like him and that was a huge blow for them,” Williams told reporters after the game. “He changes a lot of stuff for them. And having that happen during the course of the game, you don’t have time to prepare it. I hated that part of it because I think he’s such a wonderful kid.”

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski acknowledged, “It’s not a good situation,” and explained losing a player like Williamson “puts everyone in a state of trying to figure it out while you’re playing an outstanding team.” 

While the Tar Heels pulled off the win, Williams wasn’t pleased with his team’s turnovers and poor 3-point shooting. 

Read This

Zion Williamson injury brings reaction from NBA, basketball world

“We wanted to be able to score in the paint, there’s no question. Luke (Maye) made a couple nice plays getting the ball to other players instead of trying to force it,” Williams said. “I thought our 3s in the first half were awfully rushed. We did want to try to get the ball in the paint, we did want to try to get the ball to our big guys inside. But at the same time, you don’t expect to go 2 for 20 just like they don’t expect to go 8 for 39.”

The two teams will have a rematch March 9 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill. 

Source: Read Full Article