Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has been around the block. Several times. He’s served as the head coach of the Orange long before Zion Williamson was conceived, which is why his high praise for the Duke star following Syracuse’s 95-91 overtime win tonight carries so much weight.
“He’s hard to handle,” Beoheim said. “It’s hard to defend him. He’s a physical specimen. He’s like Charles Barkley was, except he shoots better than Charles did. And he’s not as fat.”
Williamson and Barkley have been compared on numerous occasions because of their similar body type — Barkley weighed 252 pounds and stood at a stout 6-foot-6, while Williamson is listed at 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds — but the two play a bit different overall. Williamson’s far more explosive and overpowering than Barkley was, though Barkley was no slouch of an athlete himself.
In three seasons at Auburn in the early 1980s, Barkley averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game for the Tigers. In 16 games and a little more than a half-season worth of results for Zion Williamson at Duke, he’s averaging 20.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.
Said Boeheim of Williamson, who had 35 points and 10 rebounds against the Orange: “He’s a monster.”
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