Duke Blue Devils star Zion Williamson heard what UCF Knights center Tacko Fall had to say, but isn’t blaming him for the comments. After the 7-foot-6 center stated that the likely No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft wouldn’t dunk on him, Williamson was asked about it Saturday. And as we’ve seen him do so often this year, the freshman phenom took it in stride.
As ESPN’s Alex Scarborough quoted, Zion even went as far as praising Fall for saying the right thing in the situation.
“What is he supposed to say? Is he supposed to say I’m going to dunk on him? He said the right thing.”” Williamson responded, Scarborough posted on Twitter.
The exact quote from UCF’s big man included him openly stating that he “won’t allow” Williamson to dunk on him. He also said that he’s not going to be put on “one of his highlight tapes,” per Chelsea Howard of Sporting News.
“It’s very hard [to dunk on me],” Fall told NCAA.com on Friday. “I mean, I won’t allow it. I won’t allow it. I won’t allow him putting me on one of his highlight tapes.
Tacko Fall Offers Praise for Zion Williamson
For what it’s worth, Fall wasn’t trash talking Williamson it doesn’t seem. And as Howard and Sporting News went on to reveal in the same comments from the big man, he actually offered high praise for the upcoming opponent.
“He’s someone, pretty much, we’ve never seen in weight, size. He’s immense, and he’s so quick,” he said of Williamson, who is 6 feet 7 and weighs 284 pounds. “But the coaches are going to have a great game plan, especially Coach [Johnny] Dawkins, I feel like, because he played for Duke, so he’s going to have to help us out a lot.”
Although Fall stating that Williamson won’t dunk on him seems like a strong comment, it’s a fair thing to say from a player who’s been a force on the defensive end. The UCF big man was named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2016-17, his sophomore year, and he averaged 2.6 blocks per game that season.
Tacko Fall & Zion Williamson’s Strong Starts to NCAA Tournament
While UCF rolled to a 73-58 win in their opener against the VCU Rams, Fall tallied an impressive stat line with 13 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks. He shot 6-of-9 from the field and VCU simply had no answer for the big man (not surprisingly).
On the other side, Duke got off to a slow start against 16-seed North Dakota State, leading just 31-27 at halftime. They turned it on when it mattered, though, outscoring the Bison by 19 in the second half. Williamson played 30 minutes in the victory and totaled 25 points on 12-of-16 shooting with three rebounds, one steal and one block.