It's that time of the year again, when we start to hear about all the college basketball players who might be leaving school early to enter the NBA draft. Some of them are no-brainers, some are head-scratchers and others fall somewhere in the middle. Indiana's Troy Williams is one of those players who could go wither way.
This season as a junior, Williams averaged 13.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.0 steals and shot 51 percent from the field. He was the Hoosiers second best player on a team that reached the Sweet Sixteen and had a solid tournament. So how does he project as an NBA prospect? Let's take a look.
The best traits that Williams has going for him is that he is extremely athletic and has the body of an NBA small forward. At 6'7" and 215 pounds with a 6'9" wingspan, the Hoosiers junior is long with sold height and size. He could probably bulk up a little bit more, but his sleek frame allows him to keep the quickness that makes him so effective.
Quickness and explosion are two traits that will endear Williams to some NBA scouts. Teams are always willing to take a chance on an athlete, and Williams fits the bill. He's a handful in transition, can get to the rim and converted shots at a high rate in college.
Defensively, he still isn't completely there yet, but the good news is that his athletic ability definitely gives him room to grow on that end. Yes, you'd like a junior in college to show more consistency at this point, but players who can move like Williams always give coaches hope that they can thrive defensively if put in the right system. Williams definitely has the tools to succeed.
First and foremost, Williams is not much of a jump shooter. His high field goal percentages have largely been the result of him shooting from close to the basket, and while there's nothing wrong with that, he's gonna need to shoot a little from the outside to play in the NBA. His 3-point attempts went up from 0.4 to 2.1 this season and his percentage there (35 percent) suffered as a result.
He's also not a great ball-handler, and his decision making has been criticized at times. This scout's take on Williams likely struggling without Yogi Ferrell by his side is very interesting. Williams won't be able to succeed in the NBA on talent alone, and if he doesn't develop better fundamentals he could struggle to become an effective role player.
Finally, his rebounding dropped from 7.4 per game as a sophomore to 5.8 this season. That's something else he needs to stay consistent with.
At this point, it's hard to tell how much Williams really will benefit from another year with Indiana. He could always excel as the team's lead guy, but as the scout in the above article pointed out, that might not be a good role for him. NBA teams that do like him will view him as a potential defensive specialist or energy guy, but he's got to fine tune his game if he wants to succeed at that. Right now, Williams is likely to early in the second round because his athleticism will make him attractive to some teams. But he could always go at the end of the first.