H: 6' 8"|
W: 207 lbs
(23 Years Old)
|Agent: Mike Kneisley ||
Hometown: Montbrisson, France
A player we've covered in a good amount of detail over the past two years in our excursions through Europe, it was interesting to be able to evaluate William Howard (Unranked ESPN, Scout, Rivals) in a completely new setting.
Having grown at least an inch since we last saw him, now standing a legitimate 6-8, Howard has excellent size for the small forward position, even if he sees most of his time at the 4 on the prep school team he plays for. His frame is filling out nicely and he made a couple of very nice plays with his above average athleticism, indicating he should have no problem whatsoever fitting in at the highest levels of college basketball from a physical standpoint.
Howard also showed flashes of a well-rounded skill-level, rarely forcing the issue but making a very nice impact in different facets of the game. He made a number of jumpers from beyond the arc, showing good range and the ability to make shots with both his feet set and off the dribble. He also made his presence felt as a rebounder, crashing the glass intently on either end of the floor. He has the ball skills to start the break on his own, and can beat his man off the dribble in a straight line if the opportunity calls for it. Very mature for a player his age, he does not turn the ball over very often, usually letting the game come to him, sometimes to a fault.
With his size, long arms and solid frame, Howard is capable of defending either forward position at the NCAA level. He lacks a degree of lateral quickness on the wing and some strength/toughness to contain more physically developed post players, but should be able to hold his own against the large majority of players he matches up against.
Howard may not have the explosive athleticism scouts look for in top shelf NBA prospects, but with his versatility there is no reason he shouldn't be able to play an immediate role at virtually any level of college basketball. Washington is reportedly in the lead at this point, and it's not difficult to see him fitting into style of basketball Lorenzo Romar likes to play.
A player we wrote about already last year after his strong showing at this same NIJT event in Belgrade, William Howard came into this tournament looking to take on added responsibilities for his INSEP squad.
An intriguing prospect due to his outstanding size at 6-7 for a true wing, Howard is a very smooth, although not terribly explosive player with a good frame and nice versatility for a player his age.
Howard's main virtues at the moment lie in his perimeter shooting ability. He converted 43% of his 3-pointers in the tournament on over 4 attempts per game. He has an excellent shooting stroke with his feet set, but can also make pull-up jumpers off the dribble if his defender closes out on him too anxiously.
Also capable of attacking the basket, mostly in a straight line, Howard is just a decent ball-handler at this stage, not looking very comfortable changing directions with the ball. He seems to lack assertiveness on top of that, looking overly unselfish at times and downright passive in others. Nevertheless, his feel for the game is clearly above average, and he can make some very creative passes at times that hint at good things still to come down the road.
Defensively, Howard has very good tools with his nice size, good frame and long wingspan, although he lacks a degree of toughness and isn't the quickness player you'll find laterally. If he applies himself on this end there's no question that he could be extremely effective, though, as he seems to have very good instincts.
Howard is one of the more intriguing long-term prospects seen at this event, and there's no question that he has the ability to play professionally at a very high level, possibly even the NBA if he continues to develop. The biggest question mark around him revolves around his mental approach (focus, drive, toughness, assertiveness), which could just be a matter of age.
Possibly the most complete guard seen in Belgrade, William Howard did a great job of showing his excellent all-around game and helping his team make the finals, drawing some comparisons to Thabo Sefolosha in the process.
|FMP Belgrade Junior Tournament|