8 days remain until Indiana opens up their basketball season next Friday night. Today's edition of Countdown to Tip Off bring freshman Troy Williams to the forefront. Hailing from Virginia, the Oak Hill Academy and Boo Williams AAU product brings a lot of intrigue to the IU program in reference to the future of recruiting.
Hometown: Hampton, Va.
High School: Oak Hill Academy
Height / Weight: 6-7 / 206
Troy Williams is the nephew of Boo Williams, the founder of the Boo Williams Summer league and AAU program. The Boo Williams program is a traditional powerhouse for top level basketball talent and Boo is a well respected voice within the game. He was recently a recipient of the Basketball Hall of Fame's Human Spirit Award along with Pat Summitt and Magic Johnson. This makes Troy's success at Indiana all that much more important. For Tom Crean to steal Troy away from the likes of Duke and UNC to begin with was a coup. Now his success could bust open a pipeline that has been relatively reserved for the East Coast blue bloods for some time.
Troy is a rangy 6-7 SF who has been heralded as more athletic than Victor Oladipo. Formerly a top 10 prospect in his class, his athleticism has kept him near the top of his class. The big knock on him is that as he progressed in age, his skills didn't necessarily advance as much as some would have liked. You see that a lot out of super athletes in high school, because come competition time they can usually just out run and out jump the competition. So they often just go back to what's easiest to win games, instead of focusing on what's best for the future of their games.
Troy is somewhat a victim of that mentality. That isn't to say that he hasn't worked on or improved his skills game over the years, it is just to say that his superior athleticism tends to get the better of him in a competitive situation. Look no further of that example than Indiana's exhibition game against USI. Williams got the start for Indiana but had issues with his effectiveness off and on throughout the game. Instead of just settling on making the right play correctly, he would go for home run blocks or offensive moves that had him out of position and unable to convert. That's something he's going to have to reign in if he wants to be a super freshman in the Big Ten.
As for expectations, Troy along with Noah Vonleh are going to have the most weight put on their shoulders. Luckily, Troy still has Will Sheehey and Jeremy Hollowell in front of him that are expected to carry the heaviest load, but Williams is going to still have to contribute immediately. After recording a double-double in his first competitive game with Indiana, I'd say he's up to the task.
So let's set the expectations for Troy this season. A bad year for the super athlete would be one where he struggles to contain himself and stay out of foul trouble. He's going to get time so let's set the bad year line at 10 minutes, 4 points and 3 rebounds. A good year line is going to be more like 20 minutes, 8 points and 6 rebounds. A ZOMG TOM CREAN IS THE GREATEST TALENT EVALUATOR EVER year would be ~30 minutes, 14 points and 8 boards a game. If that happens, Indiana should be pretty darn excited about their chances in the Big Ten this year and ability to compete for a national title in 2014.