As the semester comes to a close so does the Cameron Crazies' time with most of their freshman core, as Coach K's one-and-dones will be declaring for the NBA draft to start their professional careers. In this series, I will look back at every player who declares, re-evaluate their preseason NBA comparison, provide my thoughts on their season, and make my own comparisons and predictions. Let's continue with Zion Williamson:
Preseason NBA comparison: Julius Randle
My thoughts: Oh boy, for the sake of basketball I hope Zion Williamson’s career blossoms a lot quicker than Julius Randle’s has. I’ll concede that their games are similar in approach: both are lefty forwards who eat down low and on the boards but also thrive in transition. This combination is not very common in the NBA, but watching Williamson dominate the babies of the NCAA game after game gives me hope that his ceiling is much higher than Randle’s.
Let's look back at some of the amazing things Blue Devil nation got to see from Williamson this season.
Your eyes do not deceive you. Yes, Williamson has the hops to block your shot even if you threw it over his head.
Here Williamson imitates this Clemson point guard's spins by attempting, and completing, a 360 spinning dunk in-game.
Just for laughs, Williamson throws himself a through-the-legs, off-the-backboard, tomahawk alley-oop in warmup layup-lines. This is intimidation at its finest and frankly just unfair.
In my short 20 years of life I’ve never seen a Blue Devil so amazing that the general public forgets their hate for Duke and spends their time on Twitter waiting for the draft and praying to the basketball gods that their terrible NBA team gets the number one overall pick. Williamson is so good that he’s gotten the “LeBron” treatment from the media. Hot takes about the Duke freshman have been a dime a dozen, but this one from Paul Pierce is my favorite one so far.
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I won’t go so far as to agree with anything Pierce says here yet or generally anything he says anytime, especially since he called him Zion 'Williams.' However, Williamson does have the very real potential to be a perennial top talent in the league.
Postseason NBA comparison: I see Zion's NBA future as a mix of Shaquille O'Neal's superstar personality and utter dominance near the rim with Blake Griffin's bounce and athleticism.