Drop 18.5 points per game to speed up your team? examines. Dropping 70 points in a two-game period, thanks to 26 baskets made and 14 free throws? examines. Winning this year’s ACC Player of the Year award, in large part, for the above recording capabilities? examines.
So, it’s interesting that when Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes is asked what part of Williams’ game would easily translate into NBAIt does not focus on any specific case of Williams’ recording.
Instead, focus on a time that Williams didn’t.
This was back in December, as part of that 70-point game, where Williams went to scorched earth. The graduate’s 6-foot-5 move was at its best in the second of these two competitions, against CharlotteDropping 34 points with an amazing array of shot making magic. But with seconds left, the game was still tied at 79 – and Williams had the ball in his hands. “Scorers often go in there, put in a tough shot, and try to win it,” Forbes recalls. As Williams drove left to the edge, with several defenders falling on him, this exact scenario seemed to play itself out… until the last second, when Williams made a left hammer pass into the opposite corner, where it opened wide and exhausted his winning teammate. In Match 3. “He was very willing to give up the ball to win the game,” says Forbes. “He had that level of confidence.”
This subtle blend of scoring and game making has made Williams a dynamic college goalkeeper – and why Brooklyn Networks He signed him in a two-way deal after he went without wording.
It’s just the culmination of Williams’ rapid rise from junior college to player role in Oklahoma to full star in the ACC.
And frankly, not even Forbes knew how much of a player he was getting when Williams was sent off the transfer window in his last off-season. That makes sense when you consider that in his two seasons in Oklahoma, Williams averaged 6.3 points per game and not even one was assisted. Compare that to this season’s baseline – 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game – and it sounds like you’re talking about different players.
Forbes asked – or rather, asked – Williams to do different things than he once did. Due to Forbes’ college college background, he knew Williams’ former Triton College coach, Steve Christiansen, and discovered that Williams frequently played with the ball in his hands. So while this was not the case with soonerIt was still something that Williams had done before and had some relief with. “I didn’t expect him to play this game so much until I really got to him, and the first thing that jumped out at me in practice was his extraordinary passes,” Forbes says. “Man, the first two weeks of training, I’m like, Holy s***. He can really pass—and he loves it.”
The second part turned out to be as important, if not more, than the first, as was evident in that decisive pass against Charlotte. And he ended up doing it all season, too; Williams scored the ACC’s best assist rate, per KenPom, and was number 54 nationally in the same field. He’s maintained his efficiency as a one-time scorer, averaging 0.946 points per possession (PPP) overall, per Synergy, but that number rises to 1.258 PPP when you factor in assists as well.
“It will translate to his death, because in space, it is difficult for him to protect the dodge and he will reach the edge or find open people,” Forbes says. “I mean, he’s really good at it.”
The trick for Williams, who just turned 23, to get to the next level is to maintain the same offensive pop with a lower rate of use…and by continuing to take steps as a shooter. Williams’s scoring as well as he did despite only making 28.2 per cent from 3 seconds speaks volumes about his ability to finish on the edge, but his shot must continue to improve if he is to become a reliable option in the backcourt. Here, Forbes refers to the status of a person like Alhorford — which he coached as an assistant at Tennessee when Horford was in Florida — as proof that a 3-point improvement is entirely achievable under NBA coaching. Aside from the lack of consistency on his 3-point shot, turnovers are something else to watch with Williams; Even taking into account his high usage, he had an average of 3.6 gifts per game, and at Wake Forest losses, it was 4.5.
However, the selling point here is obvious. Williams is a great bodyguard with scoring abilities, pitch vision and a willingness to share the ball. How well he improves his relative flaws will determine what kind of role he plays at the next level, but one thing is for sure: Twice now in college, Williams has taken his game to a whole new level, surprising people in the process.
(Photo: Jim Deadmon/USA Today)