With Jay-Z sitting courtside, Zion Williamson (25 points) helps Duke coast by Pitt

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019
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Very little, if anything, has fazed Zion Williamson during his freshman season at Duke.

Not even Jay-Z sitting courtside.

Williamson hit his first 10 shots and scored 25 points on Tuesday night as the No. 2 Blue Devils had little trouble in a clinical 79-64 victory over host Pittsburghand coach Jeff Capel, a former Duke assistant.

Afterward, the talk shifted to Jay-Z, arguably the greatest rapper of all time, who sat front row and watched Williamson and teammate RJ Barrett (26 points) show why Duke is must-watch basketball every time the Blue Devils take the court.

"That was like a dream come true,'' Williamson said. "To me, he's the GOAT."

Jay-Z's representatives reached out to Pitt a few weeks ago about stopping by for Tuesday night's game.

Williamson said the rapper's song "A Dream" is on his pregame playlist.

"When he walks in, with his squad, you look over and you're like, 'Oh my God, that's him,'" Williamson said.

The freshman wasn't the only person to notice. Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett also was at the game and took some pictures with Jay-Z.

As for the game itself, Williamson went 9-for-9 in the first half and finished 11-of-13 overall while adding seven assists and seven rebounds. He insisted he wasn't keeping track of his hot start. He didn't have to; his teammates were doing it for him.

"I said [at halftime], 'I got like 10 points right now; I'm not really doing nothing,''' Williamson said. "I come in here and they tell me what I got, and I was like, 'Dang.'''

The performance left Capel, who helped recruit Williamson and Barrett to Duke, impressed.

Capel said that the last time he watched an opposing freshman score as easily as Williamson came a decade ago when he was coaching Oklahoma against Texas. The Longhorns had a freshman in early 2007 namedKevin Durant.

Capel remembers looking up and seeing Durant with 20 points halfway through the first half.

"I said [that night], 'There's nothing we can do about this,''' Capel said. "It's kind of the same with Zion. He's very unique. He's very, very unique.''

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