Brey: It's "Dangerous" To Compare Zion To LeBron

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey does not like comparing 18-year-olds to all-time icons

The DA Show
November 29, 2018 - 12:52 pm

USA Today Images


On Jan. 28, Notre Dame (6-1) will host No. 3 Duke (6-1), and Irish coach Mike Brey knows he’ll have his hands full with star freshman Zion Williamson.

“It’s an unbelievable machine they’ve got going down there,” Brey said on The DA Show. “Can you somehow keep him out of the lane and make him shoot jump-shots? That is certainly much easier said than done because the physicality for a young player – I’ve never seen the physicality of getting to the rim in the lane no matter what out of a young man. He’s truly a freak of nature and obviously a great kid, too. Great attitude. But can you just limit drives to the rim and make him shoot some jump-shots? I think that’s got to be your hope when you deal with that.”

Williamson is averaging 21.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, and 2.4 assists this season. He is shooting 66.7 percent from the floor and has been almost unstoppable in the paint. In fact, he’s drawn comparisons to LeBron James and other all-time icons.

Brey, though, isn’t a fan of heaping those kind of expectations on an 18-year-old.

“That’s dangerous,” he said. “I think he is unique, he is great for the college game, he has handled all the attention and everything that’s come with it with amazing grace – which is very LeBron-like at that age. LeBron was that. But don’t start doing that to the young man. Let him play. That’s dangerous.”

Brey also discussed his new book, “Keeping It Loose: Patience, Passion, and My Life in Basketball.”

“It was a fun project,” Brey said. “It was neat thinking back to my high school experiences as a teacher and coach at DeMatha High School with Morgan Wootten, which really set me up for anything good that’s happened to me in this game. It really gave me the confidence and knowledge to try and figure this out.”