Mark Wallheiser/Associated Press
Duke forward Zion Williamson was forced to leave Saturday’s game against Florida State early after getting poked in the eye late in the first half.
Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski explained the player’s symptoms after the game:
Tashan Reed @tashanreed
Coach K said Zion had double vision coming out of halftime. He didn’t have any headaches or concussion-like symptoms. Coach K said Williamson was almost crying after the game in happiness that the team was still able to get the win without him.
Williamson did not return in the second half, but his team escaped with an 80-78 win. He had 11 points, eight rebounds and two assists in the first half before getting tangled with Florida State guard Trent Forrest.
The freshman entered the season as one of the most hyped high school players in years thanks to his viral dunks, although he has shown he is more than just highlights.
The McDonald’s All-American has somehow exceeded expectations at the college level, entering the day averaging 20.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game this season.
While this injury might not keep him out long, it could still take away valuable playing time from a player who is still learning how to round out his game before potentially making the leap to the NBA.
Duke has enough depth to handle even an extended absence from Williamson if needed, with RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish likely to take over the scoring load. Still, this injury could keep one of the most exciting players in college basketball off the court.
The Blue Devils have a short break before facing Syracuse at home on Monday.