Zion Williamson discusses work ethic ahead of Elite Eight game

Zion Williamson's physical gifts are impossible to miss. Grace and quickness packaged with explosion and power are no doubt a great combo.

Williamson was born with those traits and has worked tirelessly to improve and maximize them over the course of his young career. It's easy though to watch Duke's superstar and think his success is entirely the result of his freakish genetics. He's bigger, stronger, faster--of course he's dominating the game.

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That would be a simplistic, and in fact erroneous viewpoint. What makes Zion special is precisely that he doesn't just lean on his off-the-charts athleticism. It would be easy for him to play at half speed. He'd still succeed.

But no. Half speed isn't an option where he's concerned. It's full throttle.

And that's still not the entirety of why he's taken over the college game the way he has. In a program like Duke, the coaches will do everything in their power to prepare the players. Instruction at practice, film study, the works. But Zion goes beyond that.

He studies every opponent, evaluating the tendencies of those he figures will defend him. That's not done with help from the coaches, that's all him.

Perhaps most terrifying--Zion says he watches to see what kind of speed and mobility his opponents have. When he steps on the court, he may already know he's got you beat.

Duke is set to play Michigan State Sunday in the Elite Eight at 5:05 p.m. ET.
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