|Team: North Texas, PRO|
H: 6' 6"|
W: 205 lbs
|RSCI: 150 ||
High School: Justin F. Kimball
Hometown: Dallas, TX
One of only a handful the highest ranked sophomores big men to keep their name in the 2011 draft, Jordan Williams has carried on one of the more positive trends we often get to see develop in these private workouts year to year.
When we saw Williams in Las Vegas, the first thing that jumped out to us was how much weight he appeared to have lost. Every year at least one big man seems to take the extra steps to overhaul their frame to improve their draft position. Last season, that player was Derrick Caracter, and this season, that player is Williams. He's lost somewhere in the ball-park of 10 pounds so far, but looks significantly trimmer as you'll see in the video below, and the positive changes he's making are clearly paying off.
Not only has Williams put in some serious work on his body, he's also made a considerable effort to add to his game. Williams was one of the few players in three-on-three competition not named Jon Diebler confident enough to attempt jump shots under the one-shot-and-out rules the prospects were playing under. We didn't see much in the way of a midrange game from Williams at Maryland, but his form looks compact, consistent, and is definitely a notable development in his arsenal.
Williams is not a freak athlete, but his weight loss and development as a potential pick-and-pop option at the next level are intriguing. Jockeying for position with a number of longer, more athletic big men, if Williams can continue making progress and show what he showed us to NBA decision-makers, he's going to surprise some people and fit into some roles that we couldn't have penciled him into during the college season.
Jordan Williams Pre-Draft Interview and Workout
Freshman center Jordan Williams exceeded expectations in his first season at Maryland. He improved throughout the course of the season and he was also an essential component of Maryland's NCAA tournament run including a 21-point and 17-rebound performance in the first round against Houston. After a solid freshman season, Williams will assume a larger role in Maryland's offense and must fill the significant void left in the wake of Greivis Vasquez's graduation.
Williams has good size and length for a post player at 6'10 with an impressive wingspan. His weight, however, is certainly a concern even if he has slimmed down to 255 pounds as reported. Even considering his slimmer frame, Williams is likely a below-average athlete. He runs the floor relatively well, but his quickness in the post is lacking and will certainly be an issue at the next level.
His lack of ideal athleticism stunted him significantly on the offensive end where he averaged 14.7 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Williams was a below average finisher in post-up possessions. Though he has a soft touch around the basket, his lack of explosiveness and quickness really limits his effectiveness as defenders easily alter his shot. Similarly, his lack of established post-moves and countermoves and right-handed dominance do not help matters.
Williams succeeds in the post at this level largely because he is stronger than much of his competition and his size allows him to establish position in the post. His basketball IQ does seem well above average, as evidenced in his above-average passing abilities, suggesting that while his skill set is underdeveloped, he does have potential to continue to improve. He likely will not have a size advantage on a nightly basis at the next level and he will have to improve considerably if he wants to overcome his physical limitations.
Williams is most effective as an energy player at this stage, scoring in transition or via offensive rebounds. He has excellent hands and, though he is fairly limited rebounding outside of his immediate vicinity, he grab 4.4 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Similarly, while his foot speed in the open floor is just average, he is fairly mobile for his size and does a good job of scoring in transition. His soft touch helps him significantly as a finisher and is certainly an asset at any level.
He rarely ventured outside of the post, both as a result of his extremely low usage rate within the Maryland offense and his limited skill set. He struggled in pick-and-roll sets, where he was underutilized despite his touch and mobility. He was similarly underwhelming in spot-up possessions boasting truncated mechanics and an ineffective jump shot. It is difficult to even project him as a shooter in the future, especially given his 52.9% free throw percentage.
Williams was not particularly impressive on the defensive end as a freshman, either. His average lateral quickness offsets his strength advantage in the post, as quicker offensive players have little trouble getting around him. He simply cannot stay in front of his man on the perimeter, either, though he does a decent job of closing out on shooters.
He is more impressive on the defensive boards where his length, strength, and soft hands allow him to pull in 8.8 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted. His fundamentals look just average, so his productivity could increase should he improve.
Ultimately, Jordan Williams had a solid freshman season and looks as though he'll develop into a prospect down the road. Not only will he be playing on a lighter frame as a sophomore, but he will also receive more touches with an increased role in Maryland's offense. Scouts will likely remain skeptical of Williams's potential because of his mediocre athleticism and raw skill set, but he will have every opportunity to prove himself this coming season.