Beyond the arc: Duke's smothering defense returns in rout of Eastern Michigan

Zion Williamson flew higher than any 285-pound man should be able to against Eastern Michigan. More

Zion Williamson flew higher than any 285-pound man should be able to against Eastern Michigan. More

Duke's Zion Williamson (1) reacts following a play against Eastern Michigan during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. In the two games he saw 23 or fewer minutes, Williamson scored 49 combined points with 16 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. In fact, the Blue Devils outscored Eastern Michigan on dunks alone in the first half, and their high-flying freshman phenom had everything to do with it.

Javin DeLaurier and Jack White added 10 points apiece for the Blue Devils (3-0). Mateos had been watching Williamson's viral dunk highlights on YouTube, and that's all he needed to see before he found his number and picked up the phone. "We can sit here and say we know what away games will be like, but we really don't until we experience it". They joined Jabari Parker as the only Duke freshmen to post 20 points in each of their first three games.

Williamson is the ideal example of why the National Basketball Association rule prohibiting high school players from entering the National Basketball Association. And Williamson runs the floor and finishes strong at the rim - often dazzling the crowd in the process.

Duke: Being No. 1 is nothing new for the Duke program - the Blue Devils started the two previous seasons in the top spot - but it's a new experience for these freshmen. The pass was high, but Williamson still corralled it; then he slammed home a two-handed dunk that sent Cameron Indoor Stadium into a chaos, with guard Alex O'Connell simply shrugging his shoulders in disbelief as he made his way back down court.

"Everything we did kind of worked, and the reason it worked was because we played so hard", Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

One in particular - perhaps Williamson's signature dunk, at least so far - stood out.

There are a lot of impressive videos of Williamson's dunks, and there are bound to be many more, but this picture is still another level of impressive. Reddish said that putting the Kentucky win in the past and moving on was "definitely tough" but that "we can't dwell on any win". And of course, there's the show-stopping work at the rim.

Krzyzewski was asked afterward if he has to pinch himself to believe what he's seeing from his star freshman. It was the best game where we talked well.

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