Rothstein: Duke Is "More Must-See Than Seinfeld In Its Prime"

"When Duke is on TV," Jon Rothstein says, "you want to put everything else in your life on hold"

Taz and the Moose
February 26, 2019 - 9:35 am
Duke Freshman Zion Williamson Screams From Bench

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No. 3 Duke (24-3), without question, has benefited from Zion Williamson. But Zion Williamson, without question, has benefited from Duke.

“I would say it’s a combination of both,” CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein said on Taz & The Moose. “Zion Williamson was going to be obviously a phenomenon wherever he played college basketball, but when you pair that with the forum and the showcase that Duke can provide, it’s been an unbelievable marriage for both.”

Williamson is averaging 21.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks for Duke. He’s provided highlight-reel dunks on a game-to-game basis and is shooting a jaw-dropping 68.3 percent from the floor.

“People will make the argument that Zion Williamson would have been a star wherever he went,” Rothstein said, “but the truth of the matter is this: if Zion Williamson doesn’t go to Duke, he doesn’t get (to play) in the Maui Invitational, he doesn’t get to play at Madison Square Garden like he did against Texas Tech, he doesn’t get multiple opportunities to face North Carolina and have the spectacle of the world over him in multiple circumstances. . . . The 2018-19 Duke Blue Devils are more of a must-see watch than Seinfeld in its prime. When Duke is on TV, you want to put everything else in your life on hold.”

Rothstein believes that Williamson’s game will translate to the NBA – in part because he doesn’t have a defined position.

“You can’t get somebody who’s a better fit for position-less basketball than Zion Williamson,” Rothstein said. “One area where I think that he’s not getting enough attention is what he’s doing defensively. You saw Duke become a worse defensive team when he wasn’t in the game against North Carolina. He defends the goal, he gets in passing lanes, and his efficiency on the offensive side of the floor is off-the-charts. When have you seen a guy make seven out of every 10 shots he takes?”