Duke star Zion Williamson will sit out Saturday’s game against Syracuse at the Carrier Dome.
The freshman phenom is recovering from a Grade 1 right knee sprain he suffered in Wednesday’s loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels, the school announced Saturday. His status remains day-to-day.
Williamson is averaging 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game for the No. 1 Blue Devils. Duke outscores its opponents by 13.1 points when Williamson is on the court compared to when he is off.
To compensate for his absence, the Blue Devils will rely more heavily on R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish.
Many critics have advised the future No. 1 pick of the NBA draft to shut it down for the rest of the season. However, that would have long-term ramifications for Duke’s postseason outlook.
The Orange upset the Blue Devils 95-91 in overtime thriller in their first matchup in January. Duke point guard Tre Jones was injured early in that game.
For Syracuse, coach Jim Boeheim will be on the bench, just days after killing a pedestrian in a car accident.