Eye poke leaves Zion Williamson with double vision

AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
1 Comment

It may seem at times that it would take 10 defenders to corral Duke star Zion Williamson. It took something close to that to sideline him Saturday.

Williamson missed the second half of No. 1 Dukes 80-78 win over No. 13 Florida State after experiencing double vision following being poked in the eye, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

“I’m not saying it was intentional,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game, per the News & Observer, regarding FSU’s Trent Forrest catching Williamson in the face. “But he got poked right in the eye. He’s better now. So hopefully he’ll be able to play on Monday. But that’s a big loss. It’s a big loss. For this game? Are you kidding? Especially with the athleticism we were facing.”

The Blue Devils were able to survive Williamson’s absence thanks to Cam Reddish delivering a game-winning 3-pointer with under 1 second remaining, but spent much of the second half with Williamson on the bench eyeing a second loss.

The good news for the Blue Devils and WIlliamson is that he did not experience headaches after the incident and already had clear vision following the game, according to the News & Observer. That would seem to be a good indication that Williamson will be back on the court sooner rather than later, but Duke has a quick turnaround with a home game Monday against Syracuse. Williamson entered the game Saturday averaging 20.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Perhaps more notably, the Blue Devils have a home date with No. 4 Virginia next Saturday. It’s a loss for college basketball if Williamson can’t go for that one.

If Williamson is sidelined for any length of time, that hurts Duke, which will have to soldier through with just three five-star freshmen and likely first-round picks. It’s nice to have backup plans.