Name: Rodney Williams, Jr. Age: 21 School: Minnesota
Height: 6’7 Weight: 200 Projected Position: F
2012-13 Stats (As of 2/22/13):
10.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.3 bpg, 1.6 tpg (27.9 minutes per game)
49.5 FG%, 65.9 FT%, 24.2 3FG%, 54.4 TS%, 51.4 eFG%
9.7 OREB%, 11.5 DREB%, 10.7 TREB%, 12.0 AST%, 21.2 USG%
SKILLS & ATHLETIC BREAKDOWN
Williams has the potential to be a good perimeter shooter, though he rarely looks for his jumper and even then he has to be wide open. He has good form, a high release point and good follow-through, though he tends to jump forward a few feet on long jumpers when he probably doesn’t need to. The end result is a lot of shots that miss long. Williams uses screens well, but he needs to learn to shoot his jumper coming off of them. The same goes for shooting off the dribble. He needs to get confidence in his jumper or defenders at the next level will lay off of him, taking away his penetration ability.
Williams does a good job on the offensive glass, using his athleticism to beat defenders to ball, usually by out-leaping them. He has very good body control and does a very good job finding paths from the perimeter to the basket to go after missed shots. His leaping ability also allows him to corral rebounds up high and finish at the basket. He doesn’t have the strength to battle for offensive rebounds, so he needs to pick his spots wisely.
Williams has spent a lot of his college career playing as an undersized 4 in Minnesota’s offense. While he will likely be out on the perimeter more at the next level, it has left with him with a unique skill set which he can employ in certain matchups. He does a good job getting position in the post, getting low and wide and setting a target for the pass. He likes to face up out of the post and look to beat his man off the dribble to the basket. He prefers to go to his right to the basket, so if he starts with his left, he will look to make a spin move to open up to his right where he can then finish. If he is given a little bit of space, he will elevate and try to finish above the rim. His back-to-the basket game has improved some, showing the ability to make a quick move to the lane over either shoulder, though he still will look to finish with his right hand. He is a good screener on the perimeter, and he is a solid option rolling to the basket or slipping the screen.
Williams is an average ballhandler, able to use both hands, but preferring to go to his right. He does a good job limiting the amount of ballhandling he does, using a few dribbles and long strides to get to the basket. He doesn’t have a great first step, but he uses jab steps well to create space. Shot-fakes don’t do as well, as he has yet to show he can be a consistent threat with his jumper. When he gets by his defender, he will likely go straight to the rim, and he uses good body control to try and avoid help defenders. He can be a strong finisher when he has space, but instead of finishing through contact, he tries to avoid it and ends up putting up off-balance shots. He is capable of going to either side off the dribble, but will always try to go right if it is available.
Free Throw Shooting
Williams is a below-average free throw shooter, though he doesn’t get to the line enough to make any impact. He should be able to improve his stroke from the line, though his release his different from his jumper release. On free throws, his release is rushed and a bit flat, and he needs to remember to shoot up above the rim and not at the rim. While he doesn’t get to the line often, part of that has to do with the limited shots attempts he gets, averaging about 8 shot attempts a game, and about 3.5 free throws per game.
Williams is an above-average on-ball defender, getting good position, staying low and keeping his arms and feet active. He has good lateral movement and is able to pick up ballhandlers far out on the perimeter. He needs to do a better job getting over screens on the perimeter, especially not going under screens against good shooters. Off-the-ball, Williams needs to work on his positioning a bit, not cheating so far to help, especially against teams that move the ball well. He reacts well to his man’s movements, and he does a good job calling out his man’s screens. His length allows him to close well on shooters, even if he gives up some space, though he needs to learn to read shot fakes better and stay on the ground.
Williams is a good post defender for his size. He is physical and uses his body well to try and force players away from the basket. He moves his feet well, and does a good job reacting and moving laterally to cut off any moves to the basket. He doesn’t have a very strong body and can still be backed down by larger post players. Williams hedges well in pick-and-roll situations and he uses his foot speed and long arms to disrupt any passes from the perimeter.
Help Defense/Shot Blocking
Williams anticipates well when he needs to slide over and help, though he can sometimes be too aggressive. He is a good shot blocker, when he is in position, and his leaping ability gives him the chance to alter shots even if he can’t get there to block them. He times his blocks well, though he needs to watch that he goes straight up and avoids body contact.
Williams is a solid rebounder, though he relies on his athleticism more than technique to get to missed shots. He does a good job tracking shots and is quick off the ground going after the miss. He secures the ball up high and clears out space well. He needs to work on being more physical and using his body to clear space before going after the shot, as stronger players uses their body to get him easily out of position.
Williams is very good in transition, whether pushing the ball himself if he has space, or running one of the lanes. He makes strong cuts to the basket from the wing and is able to catch and finish high passes around the basket. He isn’t as good if he gets the ball on the perimeter, where he has to rely on his ballhandling to get to the rim. When he gets space on the break, he can be one of the most spectacular finishers at the rim in all of college basketball.
For a senior, I still think Williams has a good amount of potential, only because he has been misused and part of a stagnant offense which doesn’t play to his abilities. A good athlete, who can finish at the basket in a variety of ways, Williams also has developed some post skills which would allow him to possibly take other small forwards around the basket. He is capable of guarding 3 positions and could play at different tempos. He will need to find confidence, and do some fine-tuning, on his jumper, but it is certainly fixable. He is a versatile player who can allow a coach to employ different personnel schemes.
Draft Value: 2nd Round – Early-Middle 2nd – #38-45
Williams has the raw ability that is certainly worth a risk early in the 2nd round. At worst, he is capable defender and a decent offensive threat below the foul line. With work, he can be a versatile offensive threat capable of guarding athletic wings.
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