After missing three weeks with a knee sprain, Zion Williamson made an emphatic return to Duke's lineup on Thursday night.
The potential No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft looked like he hadn't missed a beat, scoring 29 points and going a perfect 13-for-13 from the field in Duke's 84-72 win over Syracuse in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.
"I come ready to kill every game," Williamson said in an ESPN television interview after the game.
Williamson had 14 rebounds, five steals, two assists and a block. He made his only 3-point attempt but went 2-for-9 from the free-throw line.
Once Williamson got hurt because his shoe exploded, the injury sparked a national debate about whether he should return this season or sit out to preserve himself for the NBA Draft.
"The people that thought I wasn't gonna return, they weren't smart," Williamson told ESPN. "I love playing with Duke. I love my teammates and it was great to be back."
"They're all entitled to their own opinion. I appreciate the input, but I can't leave my boys hanging," Williamson added.
Williamson said his knee felt "iincredible" and that he could've returned a few games earlier, but the Duke staff wanted Williamson's conditioning to be at its best.