What’s next for Duke basketball and Zion Williamson

In the aftermath of the Zion Williamson injury, everyone is consumed with pontificating over whether Zion should consider returning to Duke basketball once his injury heals. Zion has been the vehicle for every talking head and sportswriter with an ax to grind about the one-and-done rule imposed by the agreement between the NBA and the players association.

Everyone is wasting their breath of course. Zion will play again once he heals up, and the injury really doesn’t appear that serious. The real injured party appears to be Nike which now faces a PR nightmare and the need to pay up much more to get Zion on board.

With all that said, there’s plenty of actual basketball to discuss. No. 20 Virginia Tech hosted No. 3 Duke without Williamson and inflicted a 77–72 loss on the Blue Devils. This puts Duke a half-game behind No. 2 Virginia and a game behind No. 5 North Carolina with only three games remaining in the ACC.

With the ACC tournament and March Madness around the corner, Duke has some things to figure out as they wrestle with getting Zion back into the fold. How long with this take? You can rest assured that fans and sports betters will be very anxious about this topic. Folks looking for an adge on sites like 888 college sports betting as we hit NCAA tournament time will be fixated on this topic that could be the deciding point for winning and losing.

R.J. Barrett needs to be much better for Duke than he was in the first half against Virginia Tech. Many consider Barrett a future NBA star and likely the second pick in this year’s NBA draft, but he needs to assert himself early in games like this and show he can carry a team without Zion on the floor. This will be a critical stretch for his draft stock.

Meanwhile, Jack White has missed a staggering 28 straight three-pointers. That lack of shooting is a real problem for Duke.

All of this leads back to the critical Zion questions. When will he be back? How quickly can he get back his his dominating style without any ill effects from the injury. The answers to these questions will have a tremendous impact on Duke’s chances for an NCAA title, and will also impact the fortunes of those betters who guess right on the answers.

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