The Testudo Times has already said it best, “the Jordan Williams era begins now” in Maryland.
For what seemed like forever, Landon Milbourne, Eric Hayes and of course Greivis Vasquez were Maryland basketball. Vasquez in particular was the face of this organization. A four-year starter, he often led Maryland in points, assists, rebounds and trash talked. He was the ACC Player of the Year last season and was arguable one of the greatest Maryland players of all time.
But now he’s gone and coach Gary Williams will have one of the ACC’s largest players to fill those big, empty shoes
At 6-10, 260 pounds, Jordan Williams stepped right into the Maryland lineup as a freshman and produced. In his first nine games of his career, he had double-digit rebounds three times, producing two double-doubles.
While he may not have been the most polished big man in the conference, he used his bulk to bully his way in the paint for points. He only got better in conference play. His scoring increased as he produced six more double-doubles in the regular season. He did all this as a freshman and only fouled out of one game all year. That’s impressive.
He finished second behind Derrick Favors for ACC “Rookie of the Year” honors.
Come tournament time, Williams really showed what we should all expect in the future. No longer a freshman, but rather a vet with 31 games under his belt, he went Shaq on the Houston Cougars in the first-round, scoring 21, grabbing 17 monster rebounds.
In the second round, the Terps fell to Michigan State, but you couldn’t lay the blame on Jordan Williams. The kid handled the paint against the Spartans experienced front line. He finished the game with another double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds).
So what can Mr. Williams do in 2010-2011?
For his size, Williams actually runs the floor quite well, but let’s not kid ourselves, the Maryland big man was a bulldozer last year. He simply overpowered his opponents.
From time to time, Williams did show an ability to take a step back and put up a jumper and he certainly could hit a hook shot here and there, but this season, look for a nice combination of bulldozer and finesse from the big guy.
Look for Williams to come in a little toner, with improved footwork and maybe even a polished post move or two. With his soft hands and knack for getting good position, he really could become a force inside, creating one of the conferences best inside-outside duos with Sean Mosley.
In fact, dare I say he reminds me a lot of former Tar Heel, Sean May? Think about it, they got the same build and their freshman numbers were extremely similar.
May scored more than Williams (11.4 to 9.6), but Williams shot at a higher percentage (.512-.472). Their rebounding was nearly identical though. May grabbed 8.1 boards per game, while Williams snagged 8.6 rebounds per game.
Keep in mind Williams produced his numbers despite being only the fifth option on last year’s squad. Now just imagine what he can do as the No. 1 option in College Park.
#8 – DURAND SCOTT, GUARD – MIAMI
#9 – CHRIS SINGLETON, FORWARD – FLORIDA STATE
#10 – DORENZO HUDSON, GUARD – VIRGINIA TECH
#11 – DEMONTEZ STITT, GUARD – CLEMSON
#12 – REGGIE JACKSON, GUARD – BOSTON COLLEGE
#13 – JEFF ALLEN, FORWARD – VIRGINIA TECH
#14 – JOHN HENSON, FORWARD – NORTH CAROLINA
#15 – XAVIER GIBSON, CENTER – FLORIDA STATE
#16 – C.J. LESLIE, FORWARD – NORTH CAROLINA STATE
#17 – GLEN RICE JR., GUARD – GEORGIA TECH
#18 – REGGIE BULLOCK, GUARD – NORTH CAROLINA
#19 – MASON PLUMLEE, FORWARD – DUKE
#20 – C.J. HARRIS, GUARD – WAKE FOREST
#21 – SETH CURRY, GUARD – DUKE
#22 – SEAN MOSLEY, GUARD – MARYLAND
#23 – JOE TRAPANI, FORWARD – BOSTON COLLEGE
#24 – MIKE SCOTT, FORWARD – VIRGINIA
#25 - IMAN SHUMPERT, GUARD – GEORGIA TECH