The Atlantic Coast Conference held its Media Day on Wednesday and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski heaped the praise on true freshman Zion Williamson, who picked Duke over UK and will face the Wildcats on Nov. 6 in Indianapolis.
Q. Coach K, obviously as Zion Williamson, very, very well known, before he even enrolled with you guys, for his highlight reel dunks and all the highlights on video. Could you just expand a little bit just on his entire skill set and other things he brings to the table above the obvious highlight things that he does?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: So, can I use momentum of your question to maybe to ask these guys questions? Because they played with him?
You know, what do you guys think about playing with Zion? And then I’ll answer and fill in the blanks for them.
Q. So, Javin, how about you go first?
JAVIN DELAURIER: For me, knowing what I knew about Zion heading into the summer, I was actually very surprised at what a graceful athlete he is. You see all the YouTube highlights and all the stuff that he can do, but his foot work, his body control, and his skillset is really incredible. Going up against him every day has really been a challenge, but it’s been really fun, I’ve enjoyed it.
JACK WHITE: Yeah, you guard this guy every day. You work out pretty quick, but he’s so much more than just an incredible athlete. One thing that sticks out to me is his passing ability, he can really pass the ball.
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: He means passing, by the way. Passing abilities.
JACK WHITE: Pass. Yeah, passing. He can really distribute the ball, and every time the ball gets into his hands he’s a really smart player. He always seems to make the right play. He makes his teammates better. He’s a great guy off the floor to be around, great locker room guy. You know, I can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s been great since day one since he’s come here.
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: I feel like I’m coaching USA Basketball and I’m the interpreter for the Australian team.
Just to add a little bit more, he’s been a joy to coach. You know, he’s such a good guy. He’s an extremely hard worker. He’s a good basketball player, and has guard skills and has fit in fabulously and won the respect of these guys and the coaching staff. Just, I think, one of the more unique basketball players that I’ve had a chance to coach, and the best athlete that I’ve had a chance to coach at Duke.