The only time I can give myself a photo credit.
Welcome back to our continuing series previewing the Terps 2009-2010 basketball season. Today we'll look at 6'10" freshman center Jordan Williams (Torrington, CT).
Last season, the biggest hole in the Terps team was the lack of a true, back to the basket, lane-clogging center (Actually, that's been a problem since Lonny Baxter left). Well ladies and gentlemen, ask and you shall receive. Williams is your 4-start player answer to our lack of a center woes, according to both Scouts and Rivals and should provide some much needed size to the Terps this year.
Although Dave Neal deserves a medal for the work he contributed under the basket for the Terps last year, he was playing out of position and was extremely undersized at 6'7". Jordan Williams, along with fellow freshman James Padgett, look to fill the void, and then some, left by the departure of the Mayor of College Park, as Neal was appropriately nicknamed. Jordan and James not only look to fill in for Dave's production last season, but will lalso provide size that is more customary to other centers in the ACC. Will Jordan Williams be an All-ACC selection this season? Doubtful. But by the time his junior and senior seasons roll around, I bet he's one of the more dominant centers in the league. But for now Jordan is likely going to be more of a roll player that will ease his way into playing time as the season and his career progresses.
Jordan is what you think of when you remember Terps great Lonny Baxter. I'm sure others are going to compare Jordan to Lonny, but if you want a comparison to past Terps, I think that's your best bet. If you watch video of J-Will, he's great inside 3 feet of the basket, utilizes the backboard, does a great job getting open under the basket, has nice put backs and can grab boards and block shots. He also does a good job of getting up and down the court, which might surprise some considering his size. After watching video of Jordan, I wanted to compare him to Baxter, so I also dug up and watched some old game footage of Lonny and I really do think their games are very similar. I think Jordan is coming into College Park ahead of where Baxter was his freshman year and I think Jordan is going to contribute a lot more than Baxter did his freshman year. I think Jordan's biggest problem right now is going to be defense and adjusting to the speed of the college game. In his high school tape, he seems a little slow at times, but I think that is something he's going to have to just adjust to over time. It could be something that limits him in the early going this year. I think Padgett is a little more athletic and physical and for that reason, I think you'll see James playing ahead of Jordan for now. And I also think Dino Gregory is going to be playing in front of both freshmen.
Baseless Projection: I think Jordan is going to be contributing early and often, but off of the bench. I think Dino is going to be your 5th starter and you'll get either Hayes or Bowie off the bench (whichever doesn't start) to replace a guard, and then Padgett to be Gary's first option to get in their for the forwards. You'll likely see Williams as the next option. I think Williams will normally be getting into the game around the 10 minute mark in the half and contributing about 6 minutes per half. If Williams is able to adjust well, you could see him in their earlier and more often, especially when ACC play opens up. Also, with the recent injury to Steve Goins, that opens the door for Williams to make an early first impression.
My projections for his stats this year:
Again, I think Williams is going to contribute this year and at times might just act as a rebounding body in the paint, but over the course of his time at Maryland, he's going to continue to get better and become a potent part of this offense, which has lacked a legitimate big man in the middle for a long time.
What do you think about the projections? What are your expectations for Jordan Williams this year? Let us know in the comments section.
Also, because it was so awesome, how could we not link to the video of Jordan destroying a backboard when fans started taunting him and asking him what a "Terp" was. You're on notice Cameron Crazies - don't mess with J-Williams.
Jordan Williams Backboard Shattering Dunk (via emahar22)