Roy Williams has been impressed with this year’s Duke team.
No. 8 North Carolina is set to take on the No. 1 Blue Devils in a rivalry game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Wednesday. Williams, the 16th year Tar Heels head coach, praised the Blue Devils ahead of the matchup.
“In a lot of ways this is the most gifted Duke team I’ve seen in the 16 years since I have been back,” Williams told reporters Monday. “I don’t think it is hard to say those types of things.
“We’ve got an opportunity to go over there and see how we stand up and hopefully we’ll stand up well and make it a really good game.”
Part of North Carolina’s game plan will focus on slowing down Duke forward Zion Williamson, who is averaging 22.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game while shooting 68.3 percent from the field. He’s expected to be the top pick in the 2019 draft.
“Zion is a different bird, there is no question about that,” Williams said. “We tried to recruit him very, very hard. He’s got a combination of a skill set that I have never seen before.
“There is a lot of attention (on him), but he deserves it. He has backed it up. He has been pretty good.”
But, Williamson isn’t the Blue Devils only star as they can also rely on freshmen forwards RJ Barrett (22.7 ppg) and Cam Reddish (13.8 ppg). North Carolina forward Luke Maye said the Tar Heels are focused on playing “team defense.”
“At the end of the day, you’ve just got to do your best to stay in front and make as (few) mistakes as possible,” Maye said, via 247Sports. “A mistake can lead to a basket and that is something we are going to try to limit.”
North Carolina’s matchup against Duke will tip off Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.
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