Nigel Williams-Goss

Nigel Williams-Goss profile
Drafted #55 in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Jazz
RCSI: 37 (2013)
Height: 6'3" (191 cm)
Weight: 190 lbs (86 kg)
Position: PG
High School: Findlay Prep High School (Nevada)
Hometown: Happy Valley, OR
College: Gonzaga
Current Team: Olympiakos
Win - Loss: 2 - 0
Nigel Williams Goss - Why He Fits


Identifying the 2017 NBA Draft's "Sleeper" Prospects

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Julian Applebome
Julian Applebome
Ryan Thomson
Ryan Thomson
Jun 19, 2017, 04:23 pm
Potential Role: Back-Up Rotational Guard
Why He Fits: The Washington transfer proved himself on the grandest of stages at Gonzaga as a hard-nosed point guard who plays a winning brand of basketball. At 6'4 with a 6'7.25 wingspan, Williams-Goss is a big guard by bench unit standards, and he uses his size effectively on both ends of the floor as he likes to operate out of the post, has floaters in the paint (made a ridiculous 34-of-67 as a senior) and, although not a great athlete, puts pressure on the rim in transition. A willing and active defender who can run the show (2.18 assist to turnover), playmake out of pick and roll, and knock down just enough threes and elbow jumpers to keep the defense honest, Williams-Goss projects as the consummate second or guard who can play in a variety of lineup configurations alongside similarly sized or smaller backcourt partners, especially if he can continue to progress as a perimeter shooter - career-best 36.8% from three on 3.7 attempts per 40.
Key Stat: 2.18 assist to turnover ratio
Drawbacks: An average athlete who lacks range on his pull up jumper (0.75 PPP off the bounce), Williams-Goss doesn't provide much in terms of NBA-level half court scoring. More and more teams are playing score-first guards on the ball in second units, somewhat weeding out more old school point guards like Williams-Goss. The Happy Valley native plays mostly 15 feet in off the bounce and doesn't quite have the burst or wiggle to get all the way to the rim with defenses playing to a hand contest. While he takes care of the ball, Williams-Goss can be a little dribble heavy in the half court, and his size and pace-reliant game may not be as effective at the NBA level versus bigger, longer athletes. While he can run a team, there are some questions about how realistic the former Top 40 recruit and Findlay Prep standout is about his level. 

Nigel Williams-Goss NBA Draft Scouting Report

Josh Riddell
Josh Riddell
Jun 16, 2017, 08:23 am
After two years as a full-time starter at Washington, Nigel Williams-Goss decided to transfer to Gonzaga to continue his collegiate career, primarily to find a program with more stability. After sitting out a season, he became a key cog for the Bulldogs who made it all the way to the NCAA Tournament Championship game before falling to North Carolina. The #37 RSCI ranked recruit in 2013, Williams-Goss elected to join teammate Zach Collins in declaring early for the NBA Draft.
Measured at 6'3 at the NBA Draft Combine, Williams-Goss has good size for the point guard position, while his 6'7 wingspan helps him play even bigger. He isn't a standout athlete but he is a steady and even-tempered ball handler, rarely getting sped up on the ball and able to initiate offense against ball pressure. He isn't known for making highlight reel plays, but he helps his team win by distributing the ball and limiting turnovers to help his teammates get good looks.
Williams-Goss has experience playing the pick and roll, with over 44% of his derived offense coming from pick and roll possessions according to Synergy Sports Technology. He is adept at keeping his dribble alive as he probes into the paint and he can see over the defense to make the right reads out of ball screens.  He can make well-timed and accurate passes on the move to put his teammates in scoring position, averaging 5.8 assists per 40 minutes, while his 2.95 pure point rating ranked fourth among all players in our top 100.
He turned the ball over only 2.6 attempts per 40 minutes, one of the lowest marks among point guards in our top 100. He is confident on the ball, always with his head up to see the entire floor and is reliable with the ball in his hands. He gets into the most trouble when he gets pressured off the dribble or is forced to take quick shots, as he isn't comfortable when opponents speed him up and appears more comfortable navigating the game more at a more deliberate pace.
Possessing just an average first step, Williams-Goss can't always create separation off the dribble, relying more on change of speeds and probing with his size and frame to generate offense. He struggles at times to force help defenders to rotate, which closes passing lanes and lowers his efficiency. He doesn't have a polished mid-range game either, partially due to his struggles to find clean looks. This leads to contested floaters in the lane off the dribble and while he has displayed touch on attempts, it is going to be much more difficult to live off these in the NBA.
While Williams-Goss has shown he has the IQ and vision to execute an offense, he will need to prove he can score enough to keep the defense honest. His average athleticism hurts him in the half-court, but he uses his body well to score through rim protectors or get to the line where he was one of the most efficient players from the line in our top 100 by converting 86.7% on 5.8 attempts per 40 minutes. He is a capable finisher at the rim once he gets there as he converted 62% of his shots around the rim according to Synergy Sports Technology, although he attempted only 79 attempts.
Williams-Goss has been a good but not great jump shooter throughout his time in college as he made 36.8% of his three point shots as a junior, but will need to improve his mechanics to be able to get his shot off against NBA defenders. He is able to knock down catch and shoot opportunities when left open but with his big dip and slow release he struggles with his efficiency when closely guarded. These flaws in his mechanics also limits his success off the dribble, where he made just 32.6% of his attempts last season. With the ball in his hands so much, he will need to be more of a shooting threat off the dribble in the half-court which might require some changes to his mechanics.
Defensively, Williams-Goss has improved over his collegiate career and while he isn't an elite prospect with his average quickness, he does impact the game on this end with energy and smarts. He has been willing to take on the toughest defensive assignments, guarding players anywhere from the point guard to small forward positions and isn't one to back down from contact. This will allow him to be a versatile defender as he could be able to guard several different positions depending on his team's need. He may not become a lockdown defender with his size and lack of lateral quickness, but he showed a willingness to defend and a mental toughness to stay in front of his man.

Williams-Goss was the best point guard rebounder in our top 100, tracking down 6.6 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes. He has a strong frame and is willing to mix it up in traffic to help his team rebound and then lead the break in transition. He also showed some impressive instincts as well, using his length and quick hands to generate 2.1 steals per 40 minutes.

Williams-Goss does a lot of things to help his team win on both ends of the floor and although he may not be the flashiest point guard prospect in this draft class, he fills several roles teams are looking for out of their point guard depth as a steady handed offensive player and versatile defensive presence. If he can become a more consistent shooter and show that his game can translate against more athletic NBA guards, he could find himself on a NBA roster as a backup or third point guard who can see time at either backcourt spot.

Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Pac-12, Part 5: Prospects #5-9

Derek Bodner
Derek Bodner
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Sep 05, 2014, 02:54 pm

Matt Williams

Washington freshman Nigel Williams-Goss quietly put together a solid freshman campaign on a Washington team that finished the season with only 16 wins and failed to reach the postseason for just the second time in the last decade. A consensus top-40 recruit in the high school class of 2013, Williams-Goss stepped into a starting role as Washington's point guard alongside 2014 first round pick C.J. Wilcox, relishing the opportunity Lorenzo Romar affords to him to finish as the Huskies' leader in assists and second most prolific scorer. Averaging 13.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per-game, Williams-Goss led all Pac-12 freshmen in scoring, en route to being named to the All-Conference freshman team, and in the process planted himself firmly on the radar of NBA scouts.

Williams-Goss' appeal from a NBA perspective starts with his terrific size for a primary ball-handler. Measuring 6'4 in shoes with a 6'6' wingspan one summer ago while preparing for the U19 World Championships with USA Basketball in Colorado Springs, the Oregon native towers over some of the players he encounters at the collegiate level –a significant factor in his productive freshman season given his lack of outstanding explosiveness.

A skilled, crafty offensive player, Williams-Goss has been an adept mid-range scorer since he emerged as a prospect during his highly successful high school career at Findlay Prep thanks to his ability to use his size to find angles to score inside the arc. As a freshman, that ability to score around the paint with floaters quickly became the soon to be 20-year old's calling card, as the 68 points he scored on runners in the half-court ranked among the top-15 nationally according to Synergy Sports Technology, and his 47% conversion rate on such shots is quite impressive.

In contrast, Williams-Goss still has plenty of work to do as a scorer from the outside and as a finisher. Though the rising sophomore showed growth as a perimeter shooter late in his high school career and connected on a very respectable 40% of his jump shots overall, maintaining that momentum as a freshman, he appears a bit out of rhythm at times and his 36% shooting from deep on 2.8 attempts per-game and 72% from the line seemingly have room to improve. Shooting a middling 51% as a finisher at the rim, the more efficient and prolific Williams-Goss can be as a shooter, the more it will overshadow his lack of great blow-by quickness and ability to finish explosively inside.

Any improvements Williams-Goss can make in his scoring arsenal will only be magnified by the fact that he plays a disciplined offensive game, not forcing many shots and turning the ball over primarily when trying to make a smart pass, rather than when he's trying to do too much. Averaging 15.5 points per-40 minutes, which ranks right in the middle of the pack among rising sophomores in our current top-100, Williams-Goss should get plenty of opportunities to be more productive this season with C.J. Wilcox graduating to the professional ranks. It will be interesting to see how his high basketball IQ and ability to change speeds and make things happen in the pick and roll translate to a higher usage role.

Racking up 5.1 assists and rebounds per-40 minutes pace adjusted, Williams-Goss did a bit of everything for Washington a year ago. He has good court vision, a solid understanding of spacing, and actually appeared more comfortable attacking a set defense in the half court than pushing the ball in transition, a true rarity for freshman guard.

One of the more mature freshman in the college game, Williams-Goss' savvy carried over on the defensive end at times, where his ability to anticipate the action helped him come up with 1.1 steals-per game, as he proved adept at stripping opposing big men when digging down from the perimeter. Unfortunately, his lack of lateral quickness led to some difficulties guarding smaller, quicker guards in one-on-one and pick and roll settings, despite his willingness to compete consistently at this end of the floor.

Looking ahead, Williams-Goss is in an interesting situation heading into his sophomore season. His predecessors among Lorenzo Romar coached UW point guards, Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas, had similarly productive freshman years, but didn't see their roles expand significantly as sophomores. Whether Washington has the personnel to maintain their scoring balance as they did in those two cases this coming year remains to be seen, and if no one steps up, it will be worth monitoring how heavy of an offensive burden Williams-Goss will have to carry.

Though his lack of great athleticism will remain a concern as scouts project him to the next level, a strong sophomore year carrying the Huskies back to the NCAA Tournament could make the decision to enter the NBA Draft that he labored over last spring a bit easier come next April.

USA Basketball U19 World Championship Training Camp Report, Part Two

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Jun 19, 2013, 12:34 pm
Far more mature than you'd expect considering he's only 18 years old, Nigel Williams-Goss established himself right from the start as one of the leaders of this Team USA squad, showing terrific poise and unselfishness as a facilitator in the half-court.


Good in the pick and roll, and very aggressive pushing the ball up the floor, Williams-Goss is a willing passer and is constantly talking on both ends of the floor, which made him a natural to continue on to the next stage of tryouts after the first round of roster cuts were made. He shows very good potential as a point guard, even if his average athleticism and somewhat inconsistent outside shot may limit his long-term upside to a certain extent. He shows an average first step and isn't always able to blow by opponents in the half-court, which makes it difficult to create high-percentage shots for himself around the basket. His very strong mentality leaves plenty of optimism regarding how he'll address this in the future, though, and there's very little doubt that he was an absolutely huge get for Lorenzo Romar at Washington and someone we'll be following closely to see how his college career evolves.

Mcdonald's All-American Week Player Evaluations

Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Apr 05, 2013, 11:34 am
Matt Williams

Taking home the top spot in the 2013 McDonald's All-American game 3-point contest and running the point for the West in practice, Nigel Williams-Goss (ESPN #20, Scout #48, Rivals #61) proved to be one of the more steady and mature guards in attendance over the course of the week.

Standing 6'3 with a 6'7 wingspan, Williams-Goss has great size for the point guard position, but lacks elite speed and explosiveness. Possessing a fairly mature skill set –the byproduct of playing a key role for national powerhouse Findlay Prep in recent years– Williams-Goss compensates for his lack of blow-by speed with the ability to play at different speeds to keep his defender off balance, solid ball-handling ability, and budding playmaking ability on the pick and roll.

The Happy Valley, Oregon native is not a dominant offensive player, lacking the speed and creativity to score inside at will, but is an improved shooter who proves to be a crafty and opportunistic scorer inside the arc. He shows the ability to control tempo and was one of the more willing passers over the course of the week in Chicago, showing the type of leadership, versatility, and intensity on both ends that should help him pay dividends for Lorenzo Romar's Washington Huskies as a freshman.

With Abdul Gaddy graduating, Williams-Goss should see ample opportunity to showcase his scoring and passing ability next season. The one-time UNLV commit has no shortage of big game experience at the high school level, and though he lacks great athleticism, his skill and competitive streak makes him a player to keep an eye on down the road.

HoopHall Classic Scouting Reports (Part Five): 2012 Prospects & Beyond

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Jan 30, 2011, 06:30 pm
Jonathan Givony

One of the youngest players at this event and one of the more unique stories you'll find in high school basketball, Nigel Williams-Goss is a high school sophomore who starts for arguably the most talented team in America.

Standing around 6-3, but possibly still growing considering his youth, Williams-Goss is an average athlete with a strong frame who probably still hasn't reached his full physical potential at this early stage of his development.

Sharing Findlay's backcourt with top point guard prospect Myck Kabongo, Williams-Goss acts as the full-time playmaker when Kabongo goes to the bench. He shows nice passing ability and an excellent basketball IQ, playing with confidence and maturity that we didn't see players 2-3 years older than him at this tournament, even being the one assigned to shoot his team's free throws after technical fouls.

Williams-Goss shows nice versatility, as he's capable of making shots, scoring inside, and even posting up his opponent when the situation calls for it. He's a committed defender who crashes the glass extremely well and puts great effort in both on and off the ball. The experience he's gaining playing at this level is invaluable, as he's matching up with some of the best high school players in America both in practice and in games before he even turns 16 years old.

On the downside, Williams-Goss appears to be just an average athlete at this stage, not looking overly quick or explosive, and showing a frame that is unlikely to develop much further. As other players begin to catch up to him physically, it will be important for him to continue to round out his game, which is why playing at this level is probably a very smart move long-term, rather than just dominating his age group with his sheer strength and smarts.

Its difficult to project the say with any certainty what type of upside Williams-Goss possesses at this stage, but it's a pretty safe bet to say we'll be evaluating his progress at some point in the future.

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