Duke's Zion Williamson (1) is attended to on the bench following an injury during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina in Durham, NC, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (Photo: AP)
Duke says freshman star Zion Williamson won’t play against Syracuse because of a mild knee sprain sustained earlier in the week.
Team spokesman Mike DeGeorge disclosed Williamson’s status on Saturday, about 7 hours before the top-ranked Blue Devils (23-2, 11-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) visit Syracuse (18-8, 9-4).
The 280-pound Williamson sprained his knee in the opening minute of Duke’s loss to No. 8 North Carolina on Wednesday night. He was injured when he planted his foot while dribbling and his shoe tore apart.
The top contender for national player of the year honors ranks second in the league in scoring at 21.6 points per game. Williamson also ranks among the league leaders in rebounding, shooting percentage and steals.