Duke’s Zion Williamson to miss game against Syracuse because of sprained knee

Duke star Zion Williamson will not play against Syracuse on Saturday because of a mild knee sprain sustained earlier in the week.

Team spokesman Mike DeGeorge disclosed the status of the freshman forward about 7 hours before the top-ranked Blue Devils (23-2, 11-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) visit Syracuse (18-8, 9-4).

The 280-pound Williamson sprained his knee in the opening minute of Duke’s loss to No. 8 North Carolina on Wednesday night. He was injured when he planted his foot while dribbling and his shoe tore apart.

The top contender for national player of the year honors ranks second in the league in scoring at 21.6 points per game. Williamson also ranks among the league leaders in rebounding, shooting percentage and steals.


Waters also out

LSU guard Tremont Waters is ill and will not be in the lineup for the No. 13 Tigers’ against No. 5 Tennessee.

Waters is LSU’s leading scorer, averaging 15.7 points per game, and his three steals per game leads the Southeastern Conference. Waters’ absence, his first this season, comes as LSU tries to pull into a tie with Tennessee atop the SEC.

The 5-foot-11 sophomore plays point guard and normally initiates the offense. Those responsibilities now fall largely on freshman Javonte Smart and junior Skyler Mays. Smart averages 10.2 points and 2.3 assists per game. Mays starts at shooting guard and averages 13.2 points and 2.1 assists.


LSU enters the Tennessee game on the heels of an overtime loss to Florida in which Waters struggled to produce at his typical level and missed potentially pivotal perimeter shots in the final seconds of both regulation and overtime.