That’s A Wrap: Troy Williams

  • 04/01/2015 12:10 pm in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2014-2015 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Troy Williams.

Williams (32 games): 13.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 21.7 DR%, 55.0 eFG% in 27.6 minutes per game.

One of the biggest storylines that stood out from IU’s trip to Canada last August was the development of sophomore wing Troy Williams.

After a freshman season that saw him start and play significant minutes, it was clear Williams had work to do in order to take the next step as a player. And in Montreal and Ottawa, we saw the first signs of Williams showing off better ball handling, more confidence shooting the ball and more willingness to mix it up on the glass.

The transformation became more apparent once the regular season began as Williams, who missed the first four games of the season due to a suspension, improved his numbers across the board.

On the glass, he led the Hoosiers in rebounding at 7.4 per game and finished the season as the fourth best defensive rebounder in the Big Ten from a percentage standpoint. Williams had eight games of 10 or more rebounds and six double-doubles, which led the team.

From a ball handling and decision-making standpoint, Williams was also better as a sophomore as he trimmed his turnover percentage by 5.5 percent. He finished with a 19.3 turnover percentage, a number that could still use work, but Williams showed better decision-making ability and was a more willing passer, as evidenced by his assist rate, which grew more than six percent.

In addition to the improved rebounding and ball handling, Williams also showed off a more refined offensive game. He added a fallaway right handed floater around the rim, that was very unorthodox but often yielded positive results. Most of his offensive game was at the rim, as he finished at a 62 percent clip and also did a solid job in drawing fouls. Williams took 43 more free throws as a sophomore than he did as a freshman and raised his percentage from 67.5 to 74.2.


One constant from his freshman year that carried over to this season was Williams’ ability to make momentum changing plays because of his athleticism. One memorable sequence came in IU’s win over Ohio State in early January when Williams finished a play in transition and immediately sprinted back the other way to make a block on the other end:

The next step for Williams, who still has plenty of room for growth, is to develop more consistency and also make defense a bigger priority. He had several games where he was a non-factor (both Michigan State games are perfect examples) and for a player who has the ability to play in the NBA, wiping away the inconsistency is essential.

Williams also needs to continue to improve his perimeter game. He was able to knock down the occasional 3-pointer this season, but as his shot chart shows, he still lacks a midrange game.

Bottom Line: In terms of pure talent and potential, Williams has the most upside of any player currently in the program. He’s the best athlete Tom Crean has recruited to Indiana and given his improvement from a freshman to a sophomore, it’s not out of the question to believe that even bigger gains in his game are on the way. If he can continue to focus more on making the simple play and playing within himself at all times, there’s no reason he won’t be an All-Big Ten type of player as a junior.

Quotable: “From the beginning of the season, we grew so much together and now we’re here (in the NCAA tournament). Not a lot of people thought that we were going to make it this far. We’re just going to grow from it.” – Williams following IU’s loss to Wichita State.

Previously: Robert Johnson, Max Hoetzel, Emmitt Holt, James Blackmon Jr., Stanford Robinson

Filed to:

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Yes – but CTC considers TW a guard, which works for me!

  • E Foy McNaughton

    80 min divided by 3 players = 26 min a game. That would be perfect to keep them all fresh and have a better defensive team.

  • dwdkc

    Yes maybe not all game long–I think Havoc and 40 minutes of hell are detrimental against intelligent teams that handle the ball well. But every now and then, as it can be effective and can also speed the game up–and if you have more ballhandlers and shooters than the other team, speeding the game up will help even without the turnovers.

  • Ms hoosier

    I never said Rob didn’t start but if he didn’t he would still see a lot of mins IU has 3 really good gaurd and there is enough mins for all three. We can rotate the 3 in and out and keep them fresh. If we get TB with the talent we will have at the forward position we won’t have to play a 3 gaurd system

  • hoosier93

    Defense doesn’t take skill. Offense takes skill. Defense takes IQ and effort. No one on Indiana put effort in on defense. A reason they were one of the worst defensive teams in the nation. There is no excuse for Troy to be as bad of a defender as he is. It is either his basketball IQ on that end if the floor or effort.

  • hoosier93

    Which sucks because of the depth we can have without. Unless you’re considering Troy Williams as a guard. Though he is projected more of a SF/SG in the NBA.

  • Oh really? So when he played a lineup of Yogi, Oladipo, CWat, Elston and Zeller.. that was a three guard? Hmmmm???

  • Arch, I really don’t want to get into an argument with you.. but defense certainly does take skill.. It takes correct positioning of your feet and ten good foot movement whne the opponent starts to drive.. It takes a lot of skill in positioning for the rebound.. Believe it, There is a lot of skill in addition to effort.

  • Eljay

    I don’t care what his motivation was, every time he went for one of those acrobatic dunks, it was delicious to watch. If he puts in an Oladipo-worthy effort this summer, his dunks next year could be breathtaking (…and actually get through the hoop consistently! Lol)

  • cooper

    Great energy player, good slasher and good rebounder. With his athleticism there is no reason he shouldn’t be a lock down defender. He could be a great college player if he develops a decent shot and plays D. The talk of him going pro is absurd

  • mark

    Big chance Yogi is leaving. Really big.

  • mark

    All this Yogi talk is weird coming after his comments last weekend and the obvious reality that he has little left to accomplish and likely is close to his degree. In his eyes, why not play for pay now? In my mind there’s only a 10% chance he’ll stay …. regardless of whether he gets to NBA or Europe, either way he gets paid to play and is probably getting a better chance to improve his NBA game.

  • hoosier93

    There is an effort issue. There was with the entire team. When you all 5 players just standing up on d and not down in a stance… there is a problem. The entire team needs to take a look in the mirror and ask themselves how good they want to be.

  • PBzeer

    I believe that’s why he said “most always”, not always.

  • Arch Puddington

    Ken, the entire point of my post was that defense takes skill. You’ll have to argue with hoosier93, who seems not to have any actual of either the sport or this team.

  • Oh sure, lots of fun. I was just thinking about the ones he missed–it wasn’t “just” showboating on his part, I don’t think, which would make the misses less acceptable.

  • Jeremy

    I am dreaming of Bryant at Center , Troy small forward, Emmitt power forward and Yogi and James at guard. That would be a strong rebounding team. Although I feel crean would more then likely start Hartman or Rob and maybe deservedly so.

  • b_side

    Based on….?

  • marcusgresham

    Wow, hadn’t thought about that until I looked at the roster again. Based on this year’s roster, Zeisloft is the only returning guard who isn’t a starter. I guess that explains why they’re suddenly looking at the Vincennes kid.

  • marcusgresham

    I see what you’re saying, but most frequently Crean’s rosters are 3-guard ones (dating back to Marquette.)

  • I am pretty sure when I responded to that post by SC.. It was always.. I am betting he softened it.. I will agree CTC plays a lot of 3 guard.. In fact this year, one could almost argue for the ‘always’ point. I was only pointing out that it is not always.. as (I am pretty darned sure), was originally posted..

  • TomJameson

    This is a very good point, Troy is a guard in CTCs system.

    I don’t think Crean will go away from the 3-guard lineup, but you have to remember they don’t really have traditional positions on that team. For example – Troy is a 1 through 4 player.

    I’m not sure who will start, hopefully CTC will change his starting lineup according to who we’re playing, but I can see Yogi, JBJ, RJ, Troy, and Bryant as one lineup. Maybe as the consistent starting lineup.

    With no major transfers … this could easily be a very scary deep and talented roster. THAT all depends on how hard these guys work in the offseason … including the coach … and the hiring of a defensive specialist as an assistant.

  • TomJameson

    Right now Rob is our point guard after Yogi. He will be getting plenty of minutes, and a variety of them playing with and without Yogi.

    The depth at all positions could be awesome, and we will have a pretty fresh team playing late in the game.

  • TomJameson

    This year Crean almost HAD to play a 3-guard, because that’s mostly the pieces he had, perimeter shooting guards.
    Right now I would number the guards on this team as Yogi, Rob, JBJ, and Troy. Those IMO are in order of the 1 thru 3 guards, but they all shared the point at one time or another.

    Questions are – Is that enough depth to play as fast as a Crean team and would that be a 2-guard or 3-guard lineup? Do we really need another guard and if we added one, would that be for a 3-guard lineup?

  • TomJameson

    Yogi has a LOT to accomplish. A deep NCAA run, another B1G title, a bunch of IU records, and maybe a POY or awards similar to that. I’m of the mind that, with an outstanding year, Yogi can also increase his draft stock.

    LOL – I’d like to see your formula for figuring that 10%

  • TomJameson

    I’d like to see a “soft” press with a little trapping just past the half-court line. Then occasionally come in with a hard trapping press full court for a couple of possessions in a row. With the length our players have I think we’d get a few turnovers and get the opponent out of rhythm.

  • hoosier93

    That’s what I’m saying lol. Playing 3 guards will really hurt us. Whether we get Bryant or not we should be seeing a more traditional lineup. And if we do get Bryant… I personally want to see Yogi, JBJ, TW, HMP and TB as the starters.

  • hoosier93

    I think that lineup hurts what could be our “scary” depth. I just don’t think starting RJ is the best move. Not that he isn’t good but that it’d let Yogi have a breather and we’ll have someone that can be trusted on the floor running PG. Plus the only guards we have are Yogi, JBJ, RJ and Z.

  • calbert40

    Saw last night that Troy squashed the rumor about him transferring, but left the door open for jumping to the NBA. Personally, I think he needs one more year of college to improve his mid-range jumper and his ball handling, but he is oozing with potential. The NBA draft is based on potential not what a player currently is, so he may be able to be a 1st round pick this year. If he jumps, good luck to him and thanks for coming to IU. But if he improves in those two areas of his game at IU next year, I think he could be making millions of dollars more by waiting.

  • TomJameson

    So you think RJ should get 7 or 8 minutes? That’s not going to happen and he’d probably be the next transfer if that was all he got.

    I don’t see my starting lineup as hurting depth, and remember I did say that hopefully it would change according to whom we played. Of course these five won’t play the whole game, and not even necessarily the most minutes, It’s just a starting point for that deep bench we all hope is going to be there.

    Also remember, RJ is reported to have a good work ethic. I expect him to come back much better in all aspects of his game. Specifically concerning turnovers and defense. And he is our future point guard for when Yogi leave. I expect Crean to take care of him … as he should.

  • TomJameson

    All that is true, except (IMO) if he did stay another year I would not be surprised in the least to see him get into the top 10 of the draft. It literally is a decision that could be worth millions to him right off the bat.

  • hoosier93

    The kid would be getting about 15 minutes a game depending on how Yogi and JBJ are playing. But it does greatly hurt our depth when the only guard coming off the bench is Zeisloft in that situation.

  • William Anderson

    The 2 freshmen coming in will give points from offensive rebounds that IU didn’t have this season. If HMP continues to improve and Davis plays and then Priller contributes and no on major leaves IU will be a force nationally. However that is a lot of “IF’S”.

  • ForeverIU

    Troy showed that he can shoot from 3. Granted, he only took 13 3-pointers and made 6 (second best 3-pt% on the team), but it’s enough to keep defenses honest. He also had a few very nice mid-range jumpers.

    As CTC said, we’d rather have a player with too much energy than too little. Easier to harness the energy that’s there than to create one that isn’t. I think this will be Troy’s task in the off-season: to know how to back out gracefully from a failing explosive venture. Not easy being Troy.

  • calbert40

    Agreed. I think he could be a lottery pick, IF he develops a mid range game and a better handle. A 3 in the NBA needs to be able to shoot from 15 feet at the least. If Troy could push a break, jump stop at the FT line extended on the wing and pop that J, he will make millions of dollars at the next level. He isn’t there yet, but I think another year of seasoning at this level could make him a ton of cash.

  • marcusgresham

    The argument against that, I suppose, would be that having the three-guard line up was what opened up the middle of the floor. I guess the flip side is that it’s harder to stay out on the shooters (although there would be less of them on the floor,) if there are viable scoring options down low. I’m not sure about having Hanner and Bryant out there together, especially with Williams unless Troy continues to expand his range. If you have those two out there together you end up back in “small ball” when you go to the bench.

  • TomJameson

    Exactly, putting in the work is essential and a life changer. Ask Victor. That said, I’ve heard good things about Troys work ethic, so I sort of expect a big improvement in his game … shooting and defensively.

  • TomJameson

    I really do understand your point, but there are 5 guards – Yogi, JBJ RJ Troy, and NZ.

    If Troy makes it back for one more season, you can bank on it that he’ll be playing one of the guard positions. That makes pretty good sense as well because it “makes room” for OG and Mogan. to play in the forward positions and still keep the 3-guard offense.


    If TB signs, and Crean doesn’t play that type of lineup then he better come up with one helluva win lose record and do some major winning in the B1G tourney and the Big Dance……and I just don’t see that happening without playing that kind of a lineup.


    Crean has never changed his starting lineup simply based on who were playing that I can remember. If he was going to ever do that it looks like this year would have provided him with plenty of opportunities to do just that and he never did based on who it was we were playing.


    I think that you might want to rephrase that as, guess who I’m “dreaming” about, cause only in our dreams is getting both coming true. Heck getting one of them may dreaming the way recruiting goes these days.


    Still have fond memories of me and my buddies hollering, “oooooh, he just got Sloaned”, after laying a bone jarring screen on some unsuspecting defender.

  • That’s a very good question.. I’m thinking we probably do not need nother guard. Especially, since Stan left, because he was worried about playing time. CDid you see where Thomas Bryant scored 27 points in the game last night in the Dick’s Sporting Goods tourney? I saw some clips from the game and the announcers were saying it is rumored he’s going to Indiana. But their conversation on it wasn’t all that strong.. Still they did mention that.