Troy Williams is the fourth Indiana Hoosiers to forgo remaining college eligibility and enter the NBA Draft in as many years. I think it is safe to say that Williams will not continue the precedent set by Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, and Noah Vonleh and go in this year's lottery.
Williams gamble would pay off at the very least if he can be one of the 60 names called next Thursday. The goal at this point for the 6-foot-7-inch forward has to be to avoid having to go overseas or sign a D-League contract, which sets ablaze the common thought of leaving school early for a big payday. This isn't to say that spending a year or two at the developmental level is necessarily a bad thing, but there is a huge difference in being under an NBA contract and playing for its D-League team compared to signing into the lower league as an undrafted free agent. Considering the drastic change in money involved, failing to lock up a NBA contract would likely prove that declaring early was a mistake.
When Williams declared early for the draft, a lot of people thought he would come back to Bloomington because his draft prospects weren't the greatest and another year at Indiana could have possibly improved his odds. However, Williams stayed the course and chose not to return to Indiana, even with a lackluster performance at the draft combine. Good news for Williams is that he has had plenty of chances to impress teams since an unimpressive combine. Whether it be at a Las Vegas pro-day this week or individual workouts, with one schedule nearly every day in the upcoming week, Williams has had additional opportunities to show prospective teams what he is capable of. (For details on Williams' upcoming schedule and who he is working out with, click here.)
Williams saw scoring improvement in all three of his season with Indiana, even if marginally between his sophomore and junior year (he went from averaging 13 to 13.3 points per game). His rebounding went down from averaging 7.4 rebounds per game to 5.8 this past season, but that could attributed to the Hoosiers actually having front-court depth. It was evident early on in his career at Indiana that Williams would need to improve on his outside shooting. Williams shot just 12-for-42 from outside in his first two seasons, while going 26-for-75 this past season.
While 35-percent from outside isn't great, Williams did manage to shoot over 50-percent from the floor in each of his three seasons with the cream and crimson. Williams used his high level athleticism to get to the rim and has shown an impressive finishing ability throughout his collegiate career. However, with his outside shooting not being up to snuff, many scouts are concerned that Troy will struggle with the strength and height around the rim at the pro level.
The other major issue, and maybe the biggest for Williams, is that he still appears to have only one gear. Yes, it is faster than most people's top speed, which was great to have in high school and even college (having a great ball distributor like Yogi Ferrell certainly hid this for Williams at times). That being said, a wing in the NBA has to be able to see the floor while running the ball up. Or in other words, the skill set required to succeed in the NBA is something that Williams has yet to show he is capable of while at the college level.
Going hand-in-hand with this, Williams averaged 2.7 turnovers per game this season, causing Indiana media and fans alike to identify when "Good Troy" and "Bad Troy" was on the floor. It was often what many would list as a key for Indiana victories in key games, whether the good or bad Williams would appear. Good Troy could break open games with plays that would make those in charge of making nightly top play packages drool. Bad Troy would commit run-killing turnovers that could end up in the stands.
Good Troy is why there is still a chance that he hears his name called along with 59 other hopefuls. Bad Troy is why Williams will likely sit and wait on pins and needles for most of draft night. He'll likely have a chance in the summer league if he isn't drafted, but unless Williams gets selected early than anticipated, it's going to be hard to justify declaring early for the draft.