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Maryland star Jordan Williams may have entered draft, but will be back for junior season

I don’t buy it. Not for a second.

Maryland star big man Jordan Williams may have put his name in the 2011 NBA draft, but there is no way the sophomore is headed for the big leagueJwill s, and here’s why.

  1. Size: Sure, he might be big enough at the college level to play big man, but there is no way he would last a second matched up with power forwards like Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, Chris Bosh and Kevin Love. Williams is too small to play big man, too slow to play forward and has a worse mid-range jumper than Jimmer Fredette has solid defense.
  2. Range: Williams showcased his dominance inside the paint this year, shooting nearly 54 percent from the field to average just less than 17 points per game. But that was against the Plumlee brothers, that was against the Longwoods and the Clemsons of the world. He wouldn’t be able to body up against Dwight Howard in the paint. He wouldn’t last a minute against Amare Stoudemire and he wouldn’t be able to get a shot off against Kevin Garnett. Williams has a college big man body and an NBA forwards body, but the problem is he has the range of a big man. If Williams were to seriously consider going to the NBA, he would need to develop not just a mid-range jumper, but a solid three-point game. Right now he is a homeless man’s Kevin Love, and until he develops range like Love, Williams will be a non-factor in the NBA.
  3. Speed: Say a team would be interested enough to draft him and put him at forward, Williams is still too slow to beat other big men down the court. His role as a big man would be a smaller, quicker one that got position by being the first one down the court. But Williams is too slow. He was constantly beat down the court by North Carolina center Tyler Zeller, he would never be able to keep up with the Morris twins of Kansas or even the Plumlees from Duke. Williams runs the court well, but not nearly well enough for the role he would need to play for an NBA team.

Jordan Williams is a phenomenal athlete and an outstanding basketball player. At the college level. There is a reason many players stay four years before going pro. Greivis did the same thing his junior year but he knew he wasn’t ready so he stayed with the Terps. He earned himself the Cousy award, ACC Player of the Year and led Maryland to an NCAA berth. Williams will realize that he needs to stay at Maryland to develop the skills he needs to become a factor in the NBA. Without a consistent shot outside of the lane, the speed to defend a quicker forward or the body to size up against professional big men, Williams would be dominated inside and out in the big leagues and he would end up in Europe with former Terps Juan Dixon and Byron Mouton.

Williams will see where his draft stock falls, know what he needs to work on, and come back to Maryland a much better player. He will be back for his junior season.


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