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Duke men's basketball vs. North Carolina starter breakdown: Zion Williamson

<p>Zion Williamson has consistently dominated teams in the paint.</p>

Zion Williamson has consistently dominated teams in the paint.

Zion Williamson

Strengths: Zion Williamson may be the most athletic player in the history of college basketball, which, much to the dismay of Duke’s opponents, is only one aspect of his one-of-a-kind game. Standing at 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds, Williamson has unbelievable grace and touch around the rim for a forward his size. That, combined with his 40-inch vertical makes him virtually unguardable on the low block, in transition and otherwise.

Weaknesses: Although Williamson plays like a guard at times, driving the lane from the perimeter and taking his fair share of jump shots, his lack of elite handles and a consistent 3-point shot has hurt him. His assist-to-turnover ratio is a less-than-desirable 1-to-1 and his 3-point percentage is 29.2. The only strategy that has occasionally worked against the Spartanburg, S.C., native has been to leave him open at the 3-point line.

Aspect of matchup to watch: Williamson will most likely be matched up with Luke Maye, a first-team All-ACC selection last year. Williamson beats out Maye in athleticism and general skill with the ball, but what Maye lacks in physical force, he makes up for with experience and basketball IQ. Maye is also averaging a near double-double on the year, and his nose for rebounding and putbacks can provide problems for Williamson if the freshman fails to box out consistently.

This is one of our five starter breakdowns heading into this weekend's matchup with North Carolina. Check out our reports on Tre Jones, R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish and Marques Bolden and find the rest of our rivalry coverage here.


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