That’s A Wrap: Troy Williams

  • 04/06/2016 8:20 am in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2015-2016 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Troy Williams.

Williams (35 games): 13.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 55.4% eFG, 69.1% FT, 34.7 3PFG% in 26.2 minutes per game.

When Troy Williams announced that he would return to Indiana for his junior season in April of 2015, he did so with high hopes for what the Hoosiers could accomplish as a team in his third season.

“I love my teammates and coaches and with continued work, I think we can accomplish so much,” he said at the time. “This is a special place and I can’t wait to see our team grow over the coming months.”

While the path to get there had plenty of bumps in the road, Williams and his teammates accomplished plenty in the 2015-2016 season, including a regular season Big Ten championship. Individually, Williams earned All-Big Ten third team honors.

One of the most athletically gifted players in IU history, Williams showed more growth as a player in his junior season. He was more confident in his perimeter shot, even though his percentage declined from where it was in his second season. After taking just 13 3-pointers as a sophomore, Williams took 75 shots from distance as a junior and hit close to 35 percent.

The arrival of Thomas Bryant, OG Anunoby, Max Bielfeldt and Juwan Morgan allowed Williams to shoulder less of a rebounding load after he led the team in rebounds as a sophomore. Still, he finished the conference season as the Big Ten’s 16th best defensive rebounder from a percentage perspective.

When James Blackmon Jr. went down with a season-ending injury, the high-flying junior had the ball in his hands more frequently. As a result, he posted a career-high free throw rate (FTA/FGA) of 50.9 percent and generated 112 points from the foul line. The trade off there, at times, was that Williams became more turnover prone as his turnover rate jumped up three percentage points from his sophomore season.

After failing to score in double figures in seven of IU’s first 13 Big Ten games, a loss at Michigan State was a turning point for Williams. On that Valentine’s Day in East Lansing, “Bad Troy” showed up and the Hoosiers were run off the floor in the Breslin Center. Williams finished the loss scoreless in 20 minutes.

From that point forward, Williams played arguably his best stretch of basketball in an IU uniform. He averaged 16 points over the final nine games of the season, including a 23-point effort to close out the regular season against Maryland and 19 points in a 77-73 win over Purdue. The win over the Boilermakers included a vicious dunk over Isaac Haas.

“After Michigan State, I didn’t come out aggressive,” Williams said on February 17. “And I watched — we watched it, and we just — me and Coach Crean had talked and we decided it’s time to put on an aggressive mindset. Playing like that, I see the results it gets me.”

What the aggressive mindset earned Williams and the Hoosiers won an outright Big Ten championship.

Losses to Penn State and Michigan State in a three-game stretch in mid-February made it look like the wheels might come off for Indiana, but the steady play of Williams was a major reason that never happened.

Bottom Line: The expectation is that Williams will test the NBA draft waters, which will likely include a trip to the combine next month in Chicago, before making a final decision on his future. Most projections have him going in the second round at this point, but an NBA scout recently told Inside the Hall that if he’s in the draft, it’s unlikely that he slips past the middle of the second round. That might be tough for Williams, who is expected to graduate in May, to pass up. If this season was the last we’ll see of Williams in an IU uniform, he’s another example of the coaching staff developing and polishing a player with enormous raw talent in Bloomington.

Quotable: “I love this team. I love everybody, the coaches, the administration and the players. This is one of the closest teams I’ve ever been on. I’ve never won anything as a team and this (season) was the first time that we actually have an award (winning the Big Ten) as a team.” – Williams following IU’s loss to North Carolina in Philadelphia

Previously: OG AnunobyJuwan Morgan, Thomas Bryant, Harrison Niego, James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson, Collin Hartman

Filed to:

  • BL

    Yes.

  • pcantidote

    Speaking of moronic fan base, ^^^^ here’s the guy that said this past season sucked.

  • ForeverIU

    Really? I said that? It must have been in a moment of passion. By the way, you’re free not to count yourself among the morons. 🙂 Edit: no I didn’t say it, did I? Where? Produce the evidence please. I remember vaguely using the word “sucked”, as in “Kentucky sucks”. LOL.

  • pcantidote

    Troy’s reputation did not happen by chance and the good/bad mantra was picked up by various media people, not just the fans. It was deserved based on his track record, that is unless you believe that the fans had a personal vendetta against him, which would just be silly. Besides, why look at it as glass half empty? Good Troy was one of the best players in the country.

  • pcantidote

    Go revisit your ATB posts after the UNC game. It was very late so I suspect there more have been other forces at work that contributed ;). You have to be careful with those crimes of passion Uncle Leo.

  • ForeverIU

    Oh, that night. Well it doesn’t count, LOL. Do you want me to go back and erase a drunken man’s ravings? I’ve done it before (the erasure) and regretted it, because there are some real gems buried in those ravings. Plus, there is a difference between being a drunken idiot, and a natural idiot.

  • BL

    With what’s going on at U of L, wonder if VJ King will attempt to get out from under his NLI?

  • pcantidote

    The funny thing is that I called you out for being drunk and the mods deleted that post…..as if it is a crime to say someone is drunk.

  • ForeverIU

    They deleted your post? LOOOL. Serves you right. My respect for the ITH mods has just quadrupled. You poor baby. Haven’t you been deleted before? They had probably exceeded their legal deletion limit for my posts!

  • Sandra Wilson

    You must be an English major…..No one else could find a way to use “provincial” referring to basketball fans…..The good / bad thing is just a synonym for inconsistent…..Do you remember Deshaun Thomas?…He was Indiana Mr. Basketball and was a great offensive player for OSU (1st team B1G and 3RD team All-American)…..Left early (junior) for the draft….Has now played 2 years in Europe and is presently in the D-league……Williams is not even close to him offensively and neither played a great deal of defense…..Personally, I think Troy would come out way ahead to come back and develop further (primarily ball handling, shooting, and defense)……Frankly, I can’t see him doing as well as Thomas….Either way, I hope everything goes well for him.

  • ForeverIU

    Provincial is someone who is too stuck in his/her local paradigm of thinking to even begin to entertain the possibility that notions like “consistency” and “good” and “bad” might be culturally conditioned and contingent. Where is Clyde Escope?

  • BL

    Yeah, supposedly he didn’t get serious about b-ball until high school. By the time Wilson get’s ’em, guessing it’s too late 🙂

  • Tyler T

    “I think we are a better team with him”

  • Fifer39

    The self imposed ‘sanctions’ don’t look nearly serious enough for that. 2 schollys over two years and a bit less time recruiting?! I don’t think any of what they are proposing impacts one jot on the 8 or 9 man rotation they would have ended up with anyway in those years. If you were a top prospect going to Louisville, you’re still going. Well, unless your mum steps up.

    I think the ncaa should completely ignore self imposed sanctions as they’re invariably situation specific and designed to have as little actual impact as possible. Just like UNCs ‘self reporting’ this year.

  • marcusgresham

    I’m looking at that roster and I truly only see one name (other than incoming freshmen, who we can’t really say until we’ve seen them on the floor,) I don’t see as a contributor. That’s pretty amazing thing to be a legitimate 10 to 13 deep.

  • marcusgresham

    True….and when is “two points” more than two points? When it’s scored in such a way the entire crowd has no choice but to come unhinged in enthusiasm in response–Troy Williams scores those kind of baskets more than just about anyone on earth.

  • BL

    My first impression – they know it’s bad and they’re trying to show contrition and responsibility but it won’t be enough. If I were advising King, I’d say: why hang around and hope they don’t receive much more serious penalties from the NCAA and ACC (e.g. more scholly losses and post season bans). It’s not worth the risk. Plenty of D1 programs that would take you in a heartbeat.

  • marcusgresham

    Williams is more athletic than Thomas, though. Thomas is basically the same height as Troy but is really more of a 3/4 than 2/3 type. I’m not saying Troy is a 2 guard but he’s definitely more of a wing from a physical standpoint than Thomas is.

  • marcusgresham

    ….and if there aren’t plenty of D-I programs you’d look damn good in a USI jersey! lol

  • BL

    Huh?

  • Well, one doesn’t have to be unsophisticated or narrow-minded (the more classic definition of “provincial”) to disagree that “consistency” and “good” and “bad” can be “culturally conditioned” and “contingent.” But man, this is NOT where I intend to debate philosophy or politics or dialectics or whatever the heck this stuff is. 🙂

  • But, come to think of it, now I think I understand your response in the thread further below. You’ve never seen Karate Kid, and so you thought I was being culturally insensitive or something.

  • sarge

    He was one of two players who could take over a game at will and lead by example. We lose the other to graduation after his fantastic four years. Not to mention arguably the best athlete in the country. He needs improvement, which is why we got him for three years instead of one. We are a great team with him next year.

  • sarge

    Me and you both. I am not religious by any means, but I pray every night for TW and TB to return and lead us to #6. It sure can’t hurt… right?

  • Missing Moye

    Nice read. Thank you for sharing.

  • BL

    YW!

  • BL

    Alex, no word on CH or JM surgeries?

  • ForeverIU

    I’ve seen Karate Kid, but I don’t remember a thing about it other than that it’s a bunch of orientalist crap. LOL. And my “provincialism” comment was not a response to you in any direct or indirect way!

  • Well, setting aside the political stuff, that was just an iconic exchange that fit the TW discussion so perfectly. And I gotcha, it’s all good. Just having some fun with the topic. 🙂

  • ForeverIU

    I want to understand this uniquely American attitude of deciding a priori what belongs in a conversation and what doesn’t, or what faculties of intellect one can engage or not engage in a conversation. Furthermore, why did you stick your nose in this conversation if you didn’t want to in the first place? LOL.

  • Just funnin’. And hey, everything’s fair game, opine away. I’m just saying that I personally don’t want to get too deep into such things in this particularly context. I come here to talk basketball, not philosophy. Mostly.

  • PocketHoosier

    I can’t think of any other player who has such a dichotomous performance in tangible ‘chunks’ of time.

    Bracey was worse…much worse.
    “Bracey! NOO!!!”

  • LindemanLover

    Saw Damon Bailey in the Orlando airport two weeks ago. Looks like he can still play!

  • Koko

    Funny you bring him up….I was thinking about him the other day. Great player and fun to watch. I was at the state fair one year walking along….gawking not looking where I’m going and I run into a big dude’s chest. I’m 5 11 so I had to look up and there was Roger Brown smiling at me. He and Mel Daniels were my favorites.

  • BL

    Hope you didn’t shake Big Mel’s hand. Take you to your knees 🙂

  • Koko

    I looked at the roster link above and I see three whose minutes will be minimal with the new guys coming in. I’m not saying at least a couple of them will play but probably not much. They would probably get more playing time elsewhere. It appears the new guys coming in are better players.

  • Greg Weber

    Four may not sound like many, but they were the difference in the game for Vill. I also remember a UConn team that won a national championship using pull up jumpers

  • cbags05

    His shooting improved, but he shot a lower percentage from 3. That statement sounds silly but I do understand the intent.

    Good luck in the pros troy. You’ll always be a hoosier!

  • Ole Man

    Amen, bro! LOL.

  • Dave Carnes

    Thomas is lazy.Ever since he was crowned a great basketball player in seventh grade his game never improved.If he had played in Indy he would not have got near MR B Ball trophy but Ft Wayne protects its star players.

  • Dave Carnes

    You are a condescending jerk. This is a basketball sight so why don’t you go down to the coffee shop and prove how intellectually superior you are.

  • ForeverIU

    Learn the proper usage of the word “sight” you provincial prude. Maybe if you spent more time in coffee shops it would be your next best option to an international experience. Coffee shops are just about the only bastions of culture in some parts around here. LOL. Get over your petty provincial pride and see what’s out there.

  • TomJameson

    I like Troy a lot, and I really hope he comes back for his senior year. But it’s probably a very slim chance that happens. I wish nothing but the best for him. I do think, though, that IU would NOT have had the success they enjoyed this year if TW had not returned for his junior year. There never was a “bad Troy” … just a good Troy and a better Troy. 🙂

    My dream would be that TB and TW both returned for one more year.

  • TomJameson

    And that’s exactly what saved he season for IU this year. When injuries happen the next player(s) need to step up. IU players did just that, and developed into very good players in their own right. Without a talented and deep bench, a team is at the mercy of injuries.

  • Dave Carnes

    That is where player development comes in.He is a consistent re bounder.But he is also prone to poorly timed turnovers.

  • marcusgresham

    You were talking about King going to another D-I school and I was just saying if not D-I then go to USI”