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Season in review: Nick Williams.

Nick Williams signed with Marquette when Tom Crean was the coach there, but pursuant to one of those increasingly popular side agreement with the university, he was released from his letter of intent when Crean took the IU job.  Williams ended up at IU and played a key role for the Hoosiers.  Williams was IU's fourth-leading scorer (behind Devan Dumes, Verdell Jones, and Tom Pritchard) and started 29 of 31 games.  Here are his stats and game log.  Williams was a steady presence.  He scored 8.9 points per game, but score more than 15 only twice and never broke the 20 point barrier.  His 45.6 shooting percentage was fairly good for a guard, but his 21 percent three point shooting calls into question his ultimate ability to be a versatile scoring guard.  Also, like all Hoosiers, he turned the ball over too much: 2.2 times per game, which would be okay for a point guard but is more than one might hope for a guard who averages fewer than 1 assist per game. 

One positive for Williams is that in conference games only, his overall numbers were modestly better: 9.8 points per game, 47 percent shooting, 28.6 percent from three, and 1.9 turnovers per game.  Indeed, and surprisingly to me, in conference games only, Williams ranked #12 in field goal percentage, the highest ranking for a true guard (depending on how Evan Turner of OSU is classified) and #2 among freshmen (behind BJ Mullens of OSU). 

The highlights:

  • In the road finale against Wisconsin Williams scored a season-high 19 points on 6-9 from the field and 7-9 from the line, although he had 5 turnovers.
  • In a competitive loss at Minnesota, Williams scored 15 points on 5-7 shooting and 5-6 free throw shooting.  He also had 6 rebounds, and his five turnovers were somewhat offset by his 2 steals.
  • In IU's win over Cornell, Williams scored 18 points on 8-12 from the field.  But this is becoming a trend: five turnovers.
The lowlights:
  • In IU's season-defining home losses to Northeastern and Lipscomb, Williams shot only 1-4 in each game. 
Williams proved to be a reliable, almost invisible player with a nice midrange game.  My sense is that to compete for playing time with IU's current and incoming guards, he will have to improve his outside shooting, something he did do during the Big Ten season.