Jordan Williams' freshman campaign - through, admittedly, just eight games - has been rather impressive so far. It was hard not to come away impressed after his double-double over Villanova, and most Maryland fans are encouraged by his play.
For fear of overrating him, I decided to look around to see what the rest of the ACC's freshmen were doing, and the results were pretty surprising.
No freshman - not even Derrick Favors - is averaging more rebounds per game than Williams is in the ACC. Nobody. He's fifth in the ACC freshmen in points, behind only Favors, Mfon Udofia, C.J. Harris, and Andre Dawkins. Only Dawkins, Udofia, and Durand Scott have put up a point total to surpass his 19 against Villanova, and none did it against competition as good as Villanova. Favors is the only other ACC freshman to record a double-double so far this year, though he's done it twice: once against USC, again against Boston University.
Pretty favorable comparisons there, especially considering every other name I mentioned there except Harris was ranked above Williams by a decent amount. If he continues at this pace, he'll be a contender for the All-Freshman team.
It's just as impressive when you go national to compare. He's fifth in the nation among freshmen in rebounds per game - actually, third for high-major freshmen. Of those above him, two were top 20 players (one of which is entirely ineffectual offensively), one plays for Fordham and is yet to play a high-major team, and another is almost 21 years old already.
How about just Maryland? Only Joe Smith had as many rebounds as Jordan has through eight games, and only Smith, Keith Booth, Exree Hipp, and Johnny Rhodes had scored as many points. That's pretty impressive company.
Obviously, Williams was forced into this situation and hasn't always been as impressive as his stats indicate. Then again, not many freshmen are. He's been good, and this time has served him well in terms of experience. Those stats will decrease when he plays ACC teams every night and Dino Gregory steals some of his minutes, but it's impressive nonetheless. The Villanova game should've given him a ton of confidence, usually good for freshmen. Hopefully that gives him enough incentive to start throwing it down every once in awhile.
Williams and Sean Mosley (more on him may be coming, not sure) have been outstanding this year. Big, impressive surprises to an otherwise average start.