Williams recaps offseason work with John Lucas, Nike Basketball Academy experience

  • 07/23/2015 1:48 pm in

It’s been a busy offseason for Troy Williams and the junior forward from Hampton (Va.) has one more event to close it out on a strong note.

The 6-foot-7 forward contemplated leaving early for the NBA, but announced on April 8 he would return for another season. Since then, he’s been working on his game not only in Bloomington, but in other venues across the country.

“All of May when I left (campus), I went to Houston to work out with John Lucas and other players there,” Williams said on Thursday. “I worked out with his son (John Lucas III), of course, a couple of NBA players were there. People like Tim Frazier, Trevor Lacey and others. Very good workouts. Left there, came back here and the end of last month, I went to the Nike Basketball Academy.”

Up next for Williams is a trip to Long Beach, California for adidas Nations Global, where he will serve as a college counselor. That event runs from July 31 through August 3.

His experience at the inaugural Nike Basketball Academy in June, which took place at Santa Monica (Calif.) Airport’s Barker Hanger, included some tutoring from one of the NBA’s best 50 players of all-time.

“Got to learn a lot from Scottie Pippen,” Williams said. “He was a person who definitely saw all of my games and told me how I could improve. I gained a great friendship with him.”

The workouts with Lucas, a former No. 1 pick who trains players from the middle school level all the way up to the NBA, were nothing new for Williams.

As a high school player, he trained with Lucas and attended many of his camps. Lucas is a close friend of his uncle, Boo Williams.

“He likes that I play fast, he just wants me to make better decisions with it,” Williams explained. “Just making the right plays, the right moves and knowing when I have an open shot and knowing when I have to pass it and spacing.

“Really I look at him like a grandfather. We have a really close relationship like that. I don’t even see the No. 1 pick or all the other stuff. He’s just mostly a person who is like family that helps me with my game.”

In addition to the work with Lucas and the experience at Nike Basketball Academy, Williams has also spent plenty of time in Bloomington working with his teammates and new strength and conditioning coach, Lyonel Anderson.

“Just been here working, extra shooting, been watching a little bit of film,” he said. “Some of the clips of the last game we played last year and now just getting ready to leave for adidas Nations next week.”

Williams took a major step forward last season with his shot selection, particularly from the perimeter. He took fewer 3s (just 13 compared to 29 as a freshman) and hit a hit a higher percentage (46 percent compared to 20.7 percent as a freshman).

Continuing to improve his perimeter shot and midrange game have remained a focus this offseason.

“I like to drive and kick to get my teammates open, so if they have to respect the 3, I can get that going even more,” Williams said. “Really doing a lot of things off the dribble, still working on set shot, trying to work on midrange more.”

Defensively, Williams said he’s been “checking Yogi (Ferrell)” in an effort improve as an individual defender.

With the additions of Thomas Bryant and Max Bielfeldt and the continued growth of Emmitt Holt, Williams will likely have the opportunity to spend more time on the perimeter.

He’s also focused some on film work, something he started to do at the conclusion of his freshman season. When he does watch clips from last season, he primarily goes back to the Wichita State game, an 81-76 loss in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

“That was the last game we played. I had a lot of ups and downs in that game and as a team, we had a lot of ups and downs so it’s just basically learn from that,” he said. “Your last game tells you a lot about how your season went.”

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  • Jeremy

    I think he made a great decision to come back. I honestly do not think he would have made an NBA roster if he would have went early. Once he becomes a consistent outside threat, then it will be time to go.

  • Kyler Staley

    Very excited for this season! #iubb

  • Corey M

    I agree that he needed to come back but he definitely would’ve made an NBA roster. All they care about is long term potential and TW has plenty of it!!

  • Gregory Spera

    Wow. IU Phase One summer workouts. Lucas Academy. IU Phase Two summer workouts. Nike Basketball Academy. Adidas Nations Global. Why doesn’t that kid ever work on his game?

  • ihoosieru

    Well it seems that he is finally starting to see how destructive he can be with his carelessness and errors. I was hoping to see the change last year but putting him at bringing the ball down, didn’t help. With him changing and Stan gone, maybe less errors. I was wondering, I know CTC doesn’t like to take their swagger away it just seems to me he could start earlier. Examples Verdell Jones he started playing in the system and became a better player-Stan Robinson helped alot with defense and handling the ball and Troy at the end of last season when he stopped forcing the ball as much. If there’s nothing there pass the ball.

  • hoosier93

    Basketballreference has a “DBPM” stat. Troy’s was actually the highest on the team(of players who had a significant role). Though it dropped from 3.9 to 2.4. But his OBPM went from 0.4 to 4.1 which is a significant raise I’d say. Hopefully he can raise his DBPM back up around 4. Justin Anderson for Virginia was able to have an OBPM of 7.6 and DBPM of 4.6. I think Troy capable of that.

  • inLinE6

    What Jeremy meant was he’ll get drafted then go straight to the D-league for the rookie season. His development path may not be as promising as if he comes back and shapes up for another solid season.

  • TomJameson

    I had to google it because I didn’t know what it was, but the BPM is the statistical analysis of the individual box scores (kinda/sorta a +/- stat, but based on box scores rather than play-by-play). It takes the teams performance into account, but does not take into account playing time.

    The Offense BPM is more accurate because most everything of importance offensively is in the box scores. The Defensive BPM is less accurate because of the things NOT accounted for in box scores (blocks, steals, rebounds, minutes, etc…)

    Lebron James and Michael Jordan had the best BPMs of all time … +12.5 to +13. Average is, of course, 0.00. In the NBA a +5 is considered an “All NBA” level. So Troys 4.1 OBPM is pretty good, and even his +2.4 DBPM is above average, and would be better if rebounds were in the mix.

    Overall, I’m pretty happy with Troys numbers, and I bet we see those numbers go up this year.

    This post is a little dry, but I thought others might be interested in what those stats meant also.

  • LawguyNA

    They’re kids, man. Working hard and improving all the time. Not pros, yet. Be kind.

  • TomJameson

    I don’t think anybody would argue against the fact that Troy has improved every year. His sophomore season was much better than his freshman, and with all the camps he’s gone to and the work he is putting in this summer, I’m positive he’ll make a big leap this upcoming season. He’s working hard to get to the NBA, and I for one have no doubt he’ll make it!