Zion Williamson goes 9-of-9 from the field, dropping 19 points against Pittsburgh in the first half. (1:15)
Not even Jay-Z sitting courtside.
Box scores and game tape show how stacked Duke’s roster is this season. So do our fun and slightly capricious power rankings.
The Wildcats won their fifth consecutive game Tuesday and seem to be heading in the right direction at just the right time.
Williamson hit his first 10 shots and scored 25 points on Tuesday night as the No. 2 Blue Devils had little trouble in a clinical 79-64 victory over host Pittsburgh and former Duke assistant Jeff Capel.
Afterward, the talk shifted to Jay-Z, arguably the greatest rapper of all time, who sat front row and watched Williamson and teammate RJ Barrett (26 points) show why Duke is must-watch basketball every time the Blue Devils take the court.
“That was like a dream come true,” Williamson said. “To me, he’s the GOAT.”
Jay-Z’s representatives reached out to Pitt a few weeks ago about stopping by Tuesday night’s game. Williamson said the rapper’s song, “A Dream,” is on his pregame playlist.
“When he walks in, with his squad, you look over and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, that’s him,'” Williamson said.
The freshman wasn’t the only person to notice. Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett also was at the game and took some pictures with Jay-Z.
As for the game itself, Williamson went 9-for-9 in the first half and finished 11-of-13 overall while adding seven assists and seven rebounds. He insisted he wasn’t keeping track of his hot start. He didn’t have to; his teammates were doing it for him.
“I said [at halftime], ‘I got like 10 points right now, I’m not really doing nothing,”’ Williamson said. “I come in here and they tell me what I got and I was like, ‘Dang.”’
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The performance left Capel, who helped recruit Williamson and Barrett to Duke, impressed.
He said the last time he watched an opposing freshman score as easily as Williamson came a decade ago when he was coaching Oklahoma against Texas. The Longhorns had a freshman in early 2007 named Kevin Durant.
Capel remembers looking up and seeing Durant with 20 points halfway through the first half.
“I said [that night], ‘There’s nothing we can do about this,”’ Capel said. “It’s kind of the same with Zion. He’s very unique. He’s very, very unique.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.