Prospect Preview: Robert Williams

by Christopher Dempsey
Nuggets Insider
@chrisadempsey

ROBERT WILLIAMS, F/C, TEXAS A&M
Class: Sophomore
Ht: 6-foot-9
Wt: 237 pounds
2017-18 Stats: 10.4 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 2.6 bpg

HOW HE OPERATES

There is a resemblance.

An athletic Texas A&M big who dominates the boards and provides the ultimate rim protection. Eight years ago, that person was named DeAndre Jordan. In 2018, that athlete is named Robert Williams.

And, make no mistake, he is an athlete.

A couple of inches shorter than Jordan, Williams was chosen by SEC coaches as the Defensive Player of the Year in both years he was in college and brings big-time rim protection to the table. In the raw statistics, Williams blocked 2.6 shots per game during his sophomore season. Extrapolated over 40 minutes, that number balloons to a video game-esque 4.1 blocks per game. And his defensive rating? A miniscule 90.2 points per 100 possessions. It’s as simple as this: Opponents struggled to score when Williams was on the court.

So, we’ll start with defense. Williams’ defense jumps off the screen when watching film. And though blocking and altering shots is at the center of it, that’s not the full story. His legs have energy and pop on the defensive end. Most players get that energy when playing offense and dial it down a bit on the defensive end; Williams seemed to gain energy when stopping the opponent from scoring was the goal.

He blocked and altered shots anywhere near him. He could switch onto smaller players and be effective, which is a big deal because opponents will likely put him in a lot of pick-and-roll situations where they will try and pull him out of the lane using a shooting big. He’ll be able to still impact the possession – especially late in the shot clock – with good lateral quickness and length. This is a very high level defensive player, who can be put on the court and contribute on that end immediately.

Offensively, he skews toward being a traditional big. He’s got a good post-up game, shooting 54 percent in those actions. He’s good going to the rim on either block, and with a big, strong frame, he was extremely difficult for opponents to guard. Williams coupled that with decent footwork on the block.

In the open court, Williams runs well and finishes with thunderous dunks in transition. He is a constant lob threat in the open court. He projects to be a lob threat rolling to the rim in screen rolls as well. He’s also formidable in attacking the offensive glass. Williams, however, has work to do in improving both his jump-shooting and free throw shooting.

HIS BEST FIT

Any team looking for shot blocking, and can put Williams on the court in a significant role to do that right away, is a good fit for him. Additionally, multiple playmaking ball-handlers would be a nice fit for Williams, who had a number of guards at Texas A&M that were stellar at setting him up for alley-oop dunks and easy finishes throughout the season.

Christopher Dempsey: christopher.dempsey@altitude.tv and @chrisadempsey on Twitter

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