Kentucky Coach John Calipari Expected Zion Williamson to Be Good, But Not as Good as He Was

Calipari said Friday that while he knew Zion would be good, he didn't expect him to dominate the way he did.
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In an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show on Friday, Kentucky coach John Calipari said that even while he was recruiting Zion Williamson in high school, he didn't expect him to be as good as he was.

"We recruited Zion. I probably missed him a little bit," Calipari said. "I knew he was going to be good, I didn't know he was going to be this good. I knew he could dominate, but not like he's done."

Williamson averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists during his freshman campaign for Duke with a 68.0% shooting percentage en route to earning AP Men's Basketball Player of the Year honors. He wound up in Durham after choosing Coach K's program over offers from Calipari's Kentucky along with Clemson, North Carolina and South Carolina back in January 2018.

The now-lifetime Kentucky coach recalled feeling like he missed out big by not landing the 6'7", 285-pound forward after the Wildcats lost to the Blue Devils during Williamson's college debut in November.

"And when we played against him, I walked off the court and said, 'I missed on another one!'" Calipari said on the show. "I knew he'd be good. The kid's off the chain."

Williamson finished with 28 points and seven rebounds in Duke's dominant 118–84 win over Kentucky.

The Wildcats and the Blue Devils were bounced from the 2019 NCAA tournament in the Elite Eight. Kentucky suffered an upset loss against No. 5 Auburn while Duke fell to Cassius Winston and Michigan State.