Thad Matta and the Ohio State Buckeyes’ basketball program are in desperate need of a bounce-back season this coming winter. The Buckeyes made seven-straight NCAA Tournaments from 2008-2014 but underachieved and missed out in both 2015-16 and 2016-17.
One player who may not be around for the potential renaissance is Kam Williams — a would-be senior who recently declared for the NBA Draft. For Buckeyes’ fans, there is a silver lining in the announcement, as Williams did not hire an agent.
Kam Williams, who averaged just 9.4 points per game last season for Ohio State, is testing the NBA Draft waters https://t.co/rwXIncQHJa— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) April 25, 2017
As noted by Land-Grant Holy Land, Williams only averaged 9.4 points per game last year and was not thought of to be considering the NBA. In fact, the 6-foot-2 guard is coming off his least-efficient shooting year, dipping below 40 percent for the first time in his three-year career. Overall, Williams combined to average just 7.6 points per game in 102 college games.
According to DraftExpress, Williams is not projected to go in the first or second rounds of the NBA Draft. Since he didn’t hire an agent, Williams has until May 24th to return to Ohio State.
With that said, Williams would definitely be a featured player on next season’s team if he returns. Two of the Buckeyes’ four leading scorers from last year, Marc Loving and Trevor Thompson, will both be moving on from the program and Williams would surely benefit from their absence. Both Thompson and Loving averaged double figures in scoring, meaning a lot of those field-goal attempts would go to Williams.
It’s likely that Williams knows he isn’t much of a prospect and just wants to get his name out there for scouts. By entering his name this year, it could provide some name recognition if he performs well during his senior season.
This is just the second year where underclassmen are allowed to explore professional opportunities while still remaining eligible if they don’t acquire representation. Last year, 162 players declared early — 117 of which came from college. This year, the number ballooned to 182 — with 137 coming from college.
You can read the full list of early entry candidates here.