Williams still pondering future as draft combine tips off

  • 05/12/2016 8:15 pm in

Speaking to reporters at the NBA draft combine in Chicago on Thursday evening, Indiana junior Troy Williams said he is still undecided on whether he’ll keep his name in the draft or return for his senior season.

Williams, who has not signed with an agent, has until May 25 to withdraw his name and still retain eligibility for his senior season.

The 6-foot-7 wing said he expects to have a final decision soon, potentially as early as next week.

“I’ll talk to my uncle, John Lucas, my aunt (Terri Williams-Flournoy) and coach (Tom) Crean,” Williams said. “But at the end of the day, it is still my decision.”

A third team All-Big Ten selection as a junior, Williams averaged 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds for the Hoosiers, who won the conference outright for the second time in four seasons.

He said his time at Indiana really helped him blossom his game as he came to college as an athlete who had a long way to go in terms of skill development.

“It helped me out a lot. I went from an athlete to being a basketball player,” he said. “Coming in, I was just an athlete. As the years went by, I developed a better skill set. Being at Indiana, I made a lot of plays, had the ball in my hands a lot, was able to control the court.”

With Thomas Bryant returning as well as Robert Johnson, OG Anunoby and several others, Indiana has been mentioned as a top 15 team in several preseason polls for next season.

While that’s intriguing for Williams, he said Thursday that he has to make the best decision for him.

“Yeah, it is (appealing),” he said. “But at the same time, it’s more of what can also benefit me the most.”

Projected as a second round pick at best by most analysts who cover the draft, Williams has workouts scheduled next week with the Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers. He has relocated to Houston where he’s working out with Lucas, a former No. 1 overall pick who he has trained with since his sophomore year of high school.

The experience at the combine, which Williams compared to going through the recruiting process as a high school player, has given him the opportunity to hear feedback directly from NBA teams.

“I’ve found out a lot of positive information,” Williams said. “A lot of great things that I’ve heard. I’ve also learned a lot about myself. That’s all going into helping me make my decision.”

In his first 5-on-5 game on Thursday afternoon at the combine, Williams had 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting to go along with five rebounds in 20 minutes.

ESPN Analyst Jay Bilas ranked him as the No. 84 prospect in the draft during the network’s broadcast of the combine.

While he’s aware of where he’s projected to go in the draft, a non-guaranteed contract that comes with being a second round pick isn’t a deal breaker for Williams.

“It just depends upon where I’m at in the second round,” he explained. “That comes into play. But at the same time, it’s not going to kill my pride or anything like that if I have to go to the D-League. That will make me work even harder.”

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  • TomJameson

    You are absolutely wrong. Tim is cheered because he is well liked by the students … probably because he is liked, not because he’s thought of as a buffoon, or a clown.

    I have to say, for all your talk, and your self-proclaimed academia acumen, the lack of tolerance, and being so quick to judge others that you don’t even know … I would have to say that the one acting like a buffoon is you.

  • Ole Man

    TW avg 2.7 TOs per game.
    YF avg 2.5 TOs per game.
    You were saying?
    You’re attempting to build a case for something that didn’t happen: “When he initiates offense he turns it over more often than not regardless of who told him what.”

  • BL

    Couple thoughts. First, it’s no secret that the biggest weakness in Troy’s game is taking care of the ball. While Yogi isn’t superb, he’s much better than Troy as evident by the following stats:

    TO’s per 40 Minutes: Troy 4.06; Yogi 2.90
    Assist to TO ratio: Troy .75; Yogi 2.22
    TO %: Troy 19.1; Yogi 14.8

    Second, fans need to accept the fact that Coach will always give kids like Troy the opportunity to improve his skill set even if it means experiencing excessive TO’s (within reason). It may not be the absolute best thing for the team at times but If Coach doesn’t commit to live game development, his ability to recruit four and five star kids will be substantially impaired. Case in point; consider Troy’s comment above regarding playing at IU: “It helped me out a lot. I went from an athlete to being a basketball player,” he said. “Coming in, I was just an athlete. As the years went by, I developed a better skill set. Being at Indiana, I made a lot of plays, had the ball in my hands a lot, was able to control the court.” Troy didn’t come to IU to simply focus on “cutting and controlling the baseline”.

  • SilentBob

    Nice post. Yea man I think the vert was the nail in the coffin for his NBA stock. Everyone knew he had a small wingspan by NBA standards, but his calling card was suppose to be his athleticism. I was honestly expecting at least a 38, and as high as a 40.

  • ForeverIU

    Why are you taking this personally? Are you Hoosier Nation spokesman or something?

  • SilentBob

    It’s true, but man Vonleh had a max vert of 37. No denying that vert was very disappointing and unexpected by most I think

  • BL

    Yes, Troy’s vertical is not super impressive against professional level competition. I was suggesting it is against most college competition which is how fans develop expectations.

    Also, Troy is most impressive off one foot like Dr. J. (vs. Jordan or David Thompson). They don’t really test that at the Combine.

  • BL

    You can view on the ESPN watch website. I saw a good bit of yesterday’s scrimmage. I didn’t see Troy do much; mostly hung around the perimeter on offense. About the middle of the second half he drove into a crowd on the break and lost the ball but was fortunate to recover it; very next thing, he threw it away. That was it for me. Not thinking Troy did himself any favors at the Combine. Hopefully, he ‘ll fare better at his team workouts.

  • BL

    Hey, some good news on Troy. Appears he had a really good performance in the shooting drills. For example, appears he went 17-25 (68%) from the NBA 3-point line. Guessing he was having visions of the 2nd half against NC 🙂

    Full stats are on the NBA website.

  • Babus1

    I feel it is a nobrainer to finish school. None of us know what the future holds. At anytime, lives can change, illness, injury, family situations. If you are good, waiting will only make you better. Patience is a virtue, and unfortunately for some, it comes with age. They should ask themselves, ” if there were no money involved, what would I do?”

  • SilentBob

    I agree with all you’ve said. As well as there being much more that goes into finishing at the rim than max vert, but it obviously helps. I’m just expanding upon the disappointment I’m sure his camp is feeling with these numbers. He isn’t Dr. J. And the combine (both drills and 5 on 5) just shredded up what was left of his stock.

  • BL

    No, Troy isn’t Dr. J 🙂 but he is impressive off one foot which is a special gift not really tested at the Combine. Moreover, there are no Combine drills that measure “first step” explosion which Troy definitely possesses. Anyway, I really don’t believe the Combine “shredded” his stock. I’m guessing the NBA people still view him as a very good athlete and the scrimmages just confirmed what they already know; he needs to improve his b-ball skills. Also, you may have missed it but he did incredibly well in the shooting drills which confirmed he is improving.

    As I’ve commented elsewhere, yes, I would be very surprised if Troy made an NBA roster this year. Notwithstanding, I also wouldn’t give up on him improving and making a roster down line.

  • SilentBob

    I mean perhaps I should have put the word “draft” in front of stock or something, but It feels like your in Red Team mode either way. But of course he can rebuild his stock overseas or in the D League or something. But their are a many of player who COULD. All I’m saying is he needed at least a 38 and a good 5 on 5 showing to get a decent look. And he got neither. He has a very long road a head of him at this point

  • SilentBob

    And he performed well. But that doesn’t mean anything about in game. Didn’t he win the Hoosier hysteria 3 point contest? He may even shoot at a decent percentage. But he hasn’t taken them in nearly enough volume for that to be made anything yet

  • SilentBob

    But we’re in the same angle. He could make a path for himself, but it’ll take a while

  • BL

    Really wasn’t in “red team mode”.

    Sadly, as we all know, Troy isn’t ready for the NBA and it’s really not about his athletic stats or shooting. The Combine scrimmages simply confirmed what we and the NBA people already knew; Troy needs to improve his decision making. Frankly, I just don’t know if Troy will ever truly get it. Like most fans, I sure hope he does.