Wendell Carter Jr. on Duke’s Zion Williamson: ‘Not many people can guard that’

Duke wowed America on Election Night with a 118-84 demolition of second-ranked Kentucky. Among those impressed — former Blue Devils Wendell Carter Jr. and Jabari Parker of the Bulls.

Asked how Zion Williamson’s game will translate to the NBA, Carter said: “It’s going to translate perfectly. He’s very explosive, he’s very quick and he has a very large frame (6 foot 7, 285 pounds). That’s very rare. Not many people can guard that.”

Carter left Duke in the spring, after his freshman season. He said he noticed comments on social media Tuesday night speculating what this Duke team would look like if he and Marvin Bagley III had stayed.

Answer: It would be unfair.

“Yeah, for sure,” he replied.

Williamson hit 11 of 13 shots, including a 3-pointer and some ferocious dunks, to score 28 points. Fellow freshman RJ Barrett scored 33 points, hitting 3 of 7 3-pointers. The other first-year stud, Cam Reddish, finished with 22 points — and four steals.

“Zion, RJ, Cam … super talented,” Parker said. “It’s rare to have three top players go to the same school. I’m a fan of them, definitely.”

And of Williamson’s game: “It will translate. The game is based on athleticism, open-court (play). All those guys, man, they’re all athletic.”

Carter, by the way, called his decision to leave after one season “pretty tough. I was thinking if I were to stay it would be for the educational side, to get closer to my degree. But (playing in the NBA) is a dream of mine and I feel I can always go back to school.”

Carter is averaging 11.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists for the 3-8 Bulls, who faced the Pelicans (4-6) Wednesday night in New Orleans.

The rehab report: Denzel Valentine’s left ankle remains troublesome enough that the Bulls no longer believe he will be back around the same time as Lauri Markkanen returns, in late November or early December. The team ramped up Valentine’s activity, but the ankle has not responded well. He is out indefinitely.

Markkanen (elbow), Kris Dunn (knee) and Bobby Portis (knee) all remain weeks from returning to action. Coach Fred Hoiberg said Markkanen remains “a couple of weeks” from taking contact in practice but did some spot shooting Tuesday in New York and had no pain.

tgreenstein@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @TeddyGreenstein

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