Williams will remain in NBA Draft #iubb

Troy Williams’ Indiana career is over.

The would-be senior forward will remain in the NBA Draft, according to multiple reports. Williams’ uncle, Boo, confirmed Williams’ decision to the Herald-Times.

After publicly maintaining he was split between returning to Bloomington for his final year of eligibility and beginning his professional career, Williams has made his mind. The deadline to withdraw from the draft is 11:59 tonight. Williams’ former teammate, James Blackmon Jr., announced his intention to return to IU earlier Wednesday.

Williams will be represented by agent Stephen Pina of ASM Sports.

Williams made it clear before last season that he hoped to test his NBA stock following his junior year. He has not graduated from Indiana, but Williams told reporters he is only two classes and an internship shy of doing so. Under IU’s Student-Athlete Bill of Rights, he will be able to return to school at any time in order to finish his degree.

“He thought he was ready, physically,” Boo Williams said. “He still has some things he needs to do, but this is what he wanted to do. I guess I’m a little bit more conservative — I’m old school — but this is what he wanted to do. I’ve been in this business long enough to know that if a kid is ready to go, he’s ready to go.”

Williams interviewed with 10 teams during the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago earlier this month and had a list of other visits scheduled. But his uncle said a minor hamstring injury forced him to cancel workouts during the last week as he continues to recover.

“We scratched him from all the workouts,” Boo Williams said. “He had about seven or eight workouts ready. June is going to be a busy month for him because we have to make up the workouts. It will allow us to see who’s still interested after his hamstring is straight. We’re still getting a lot of calls. … People are intrigued by his athletic ability. Now, what he has to do is make them intrigued by his basketball skills.”

Across three seasons with the Hoosiers, Williams averaged 11.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while becoming the eighth Hoosier under coach Tom Crean to reach the 1,000 career point plateau. At times, Williams was brilliant with the basketball in his hand, connecting on electric dunks and put-backs while working the baseline for looks around the basket.

He could also be maddeningly inconsistent and turnover-prone, averaging 2.2 errors per game during his career.

Though he has also lacked a consistent jump shot, Williams showed more confidence from long range as a junior while connecting on 34 percent (26-for-75) of his shots from the arc. Although he shot 46 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore, that figure came in 62 fewer attempts.

After going scoreless in a loss at Michigan State on Feb. 14, Williams raised his game down the stretch. He averaged 16 points per game during IU’s final nine contests. Williams closed his season by scoring 20 of his 21 points in the second half of IU’s Sweet 16 loss to North Carolina.

Williams posted a message to fans on his Instagram account on Wednesday.

“Once a Hoosier, always a Hoosier,” Williams wrote. “Thank you Indiana for the memories, the people I met, friendships that’ll last forever and the experiences throughout my years at IU. Without the help of coach Crean, coaching staff, (academic advisor Marni Mooney), my family, and my teammates, I wouldn’t be here now. Much love to everyone who helped me on this journey, you’ll always be remembered.”

A Third Team All-Big Ten honoree by the league’s coaches and media, Williams originally declared for the draft on April 11 and attended the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago May 10-15. His combine performance, however, was undistinguished and essentially served as an extension of his junior season.

Analysts praised his athleticism, but expressed concerns over his recklessness. ESPN draft expert Chad Ford grouped Williams along with three other Big Ten players — Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes, Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan and Maryland’s Melo Trimble — on his “All-Go-Back-To-School Team.”

After working out for the Indiana Pacers on May 17, Williams said he’s heard from a couple teams that view him as potential first-round draft selection. On the surface, it’s unclear whether Williams has done enough to convince NBA decision makers that he is worthy of a draft pick.

He is considered the No. 86 overall prospect in the draft class, according to DraftExpress.com, as questions about his decision-making continue to swirl. Williams’ athleticism is enticing, but his overall skill package requires further seasoning.

“People are intrigued by his athletic ability,” Boo Williams said. “Now, what he has to do is make them intrigued by his basketball skills.”

Williams’ decision eases the scholarship crunch for Indiana, which would have been one over the NCAA limit of 13 had he decided to return to school. The Hoosiers accepted a commitment from junior college forward Freddie McSwain late last month, bringing in a raw but athletic player built in a similar mold to Williams.

9 comments

  1. Not surprised. Good luck, Troy. Thanks for your many contributions to IU Basketball. I hope you make it in the NBA and make it a priority to return to campus, finish your degree and support your alma mater in the future.

  2. Unfortunately, uncle Boo doesn’t know much what he is talking about. Troy Williams would be better served taking a canoe trip this Spring /Summer in shallow water so he would not drown like he will in NBA. He will be physically discarded. He is not easy to coach and forces his game with to much one on one resulting in poor decisions like this one. He is not Magic, Jordan, Bird even though he tries to play like it sometimes with his one on one bad decisions. He could have possibly became a late first round pick next year if he really tried to improve his game within team concept. He will be lucky to make it on tv and there is a good chance he just gets lost in the NBA shuffle.

  3. I don’t usually think a kid should stay in school if he has his best chance at going pro, but in Troy’s case I personally don’t think it’s a good choice. My understanding is he has only played organized basketball since his junior year…and considering that….he has made a tremendous stride. IU could be very good next year. Big games and tv spotlights could significantly give him excellent exposure if he works on the aspects of his game he needs to polish. Especially with Yogi not being around. I just don’t see any mock drafts projecting him to be drafted. His handle and decision making needs work. With 100% focus on his game and body he really could be a first round pick next year. Seems to me he’s graduating and is ready to get paid. I can’t fault him for that. I do wish him luck and I do hope his name is called on draft night, but I jdont think I’ve seen a kid with so much to potentially gain from returning to college basketball.

  4. Good luck Troy. If you can learn that every play you make does not have to be one for the Sports Center highlight reel, you may have a chance.

  5. Exactly what RAM said. Good luck Troy. I thought this would be the logical next step as he now has his degree and hand and can start to pay down the student loans.

  6. Like all Crean “finds”(other than Wade)……Nothing of savvy basketball skills…Nothing of a dependable, consistent aspect to his game….Nothing of b-ball IQ or the sort of instinctive ability that comes from early learning and love for the game. Simply an amazing athlete put onto the fast lane and the fast learning curve. Often ragged and Jekyll Hyde-ish. Nothing of a player that could bring banners. Always the inclination to be the “one man show.” Simply an Crean prototype ….an NBA experiment that can work athletically but then, likely, fizzle back into the rawness of roots.

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