On Wednesday morning, news broke that rising redshirt senior guard Kam Williams would be foregoing the 2017 NBA Draft and returning to the Ohio State Buckeyes for the upcoming season. Williams has not been a perfect player since arriving in Columbus, but it was welcome news for a fanbase that has gotten its fair share of bad breaks this offseason.
Since arriving in Columbus, Williams has gradually developed into a key player for the Buckeyes. He redshirted his freshman season, played 35.5 percent of the team’s minutes as a redshirt freshman and has seen his minutes increase in each of the last two seasons.
As a recruit, Williams was rated as a four-star prospect by 247Sports and the No. 71 player in the nation. Ohio State was a deep team at the time and fans expected him to gradually turn into a top-tier player for the program.
During last season, Williams averaged 9.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game while playing 30.7 minutes per game. He struggled late in the season, but did score 23 points in a February win over Rutgers and double-digits in eight league games.
William’s return, of course, is huge news for Buckeye fans. To start, the team was probably looking at having to play someone out of position, a walk-on, or a true freshman at the two-guard spot, if Williams had gone pro. Obviously, that would have been a challenging situation, especially considering that Ohio State went 17-15 last season and missed the NIT.
Moreover, this stems the tide of bad news that Ohio State fans have endured during this offseason. Nothing has seemed to go right in Columbus and the program needed a break. Williams isn’t a perfect player, but his return should prevent a “doomsday” scenario for Thad Matta and his staff next season.
Ohio State still has a lot to overcome before next season begins, but the return of Williams is a great way to get back on track. Matta will now look to fill out the depth chart around Williams and his fellow returning upperclassmen.