Williams, game one

CINCINNATI — David Williams just made his debut at the Adidas It Takes Five tournament, and it was a rather underwhelming one.

Williams, a 2010 forward that has verbally committed to play at Indiana, was not bad. But he was not particularly good, either.

He was solid on defense, defending in the post, along the perimeter and in the open court.

But, during a 78-70 win against Brookwood Elite, the Atlanta Celtics forward was not a presence at all on offense.

He did not score or have an assist. It’s hard to say, having seen him only this one time, whether or not this is a bad game or a consistent pattern.

Either way, there is an expectation in these tournaments that the elite (like those committed to Indiana) are going to stand out and really make their presence known. Brandon Mobley, a high-level power forward for the Celtics, did just that.

We will see him again at 4 p.m, against a Michigan Mustangs team that features 6-2 guard Keith Appling (a Michigan State commit) and Juwan Howard, Jr.

19 comments

  1. Hopefully Williams realizes what’s at stake here and steps up his performance in upcoming contests. But if this is an indication of his ability then I certainly have a few questions:

    What did Crean and staff see in him that prompted them to offer him a scholarship so early?

    Can a coach rescind a scholarship offer?

    Will Crean be willing to do that if he feels that he made a poor decision in offering Williams in the first place, or that Williams isn’t progressing enough to legitimately play for IU?

  2. Well, Crean needs to stick with him. You can’t offer a kid a scholarship and then take it back. That is very un-professional to do that to a high school kid and it would also result in a public relations nightmare. Imagine what other coaches would say to potential IU recruits about the way Crean runs his program.

    We’ll get to see how Crean develops his players over time, I suppose.

  3. Yeah, that’s kind of what I was thinking…

    I guess what I’m really wondering is if Crean may get himself into a situation where he wishes he hadn’t offered Williams so early, but feels compelled to stick with him because of the damage being unfaithful to a recruit could do to his image and perceived character as a coach.

    Williams also may not be shining as much in games like this because he’s surrounded by so many other good players, that his ability to make an impact on the game isn’t necessary, and isn’t seen. Maybe Crean saw something in his personal workouts that led him to believe this guy will be a player. He also may just end up being one of those guys that does a lot of little things well — a reliable player. Every team needs those as well.

  4. A few quick thoughts….

    Williams cares defensively, and has the makings of a versatile player at that end. As Hugh noted, he guarded the perimeter and the post.

    On offense, the J-Smoove All-Stars have plenty of talent. Williams didn’t even seem to be an option at that end. The few times the ball came to him he was surprised by it.

    What did Crean see? Probably potential. He’s projecting.

  5. If Williams’ talent is on defense, then his offense can be developed. With his size and versatility, if we have enough offensive firepower elsewhere then that would work for me.

    At this point I’m still willing to give Crean the benefit of the doubt. I’d like to see us land a big fish or two at this point (you’d kind of like to see them in reverse order), but as long as the classes as a whole are solid then that’s ok with me.

  6. Thanks for the insight, Chris.

    You obviously have the advantage of seeing him play, which is helpful for the rest of us who can merely speculate.

    I’m still willing to give Crean the benefit of the doubt as well. He’s proven to be an intelligent and calculated coach thus far, and I’m sure there’s a method to the madness here.

    I’m not making any claims as to Crean’s judgement, or what he should do moving forward. I simply think it is and will continue to be an interesting story line, given the collective fan base’s desire for top-end recruits. It’ll be interesting to watch Williams develop, and to see his role on IU’s team in the future.

    It will also be interesting to see how fans react if Williams continues to put up average numbers. To this point, Crean still seems a bit untouchable when it comes to criticism, because of the program’s situation. I wonder if this will be something fans begin second-guessing him on.

  7. Did he look bad on offense or just not get any looks? If he is a threat, but just chooses not to shoot because there are plenty of other scorers then that is fine by me. If he is not even a threat or just plain can’t score/shoot then that is more of a problem. Especially for a wing type player.

    For example, Bruce Bowen doesn’t look to shoot, but is a threat to knock down a corner three if you leave him open.

  8. Well Crean did say that that grade rating thing (escapes me at the moment) was his primary concern at this time…

    Williams has something like a 3.8 gpa? Maybe some other good leadership skills too, another thing Crean has said a lot about lately…

  9. Most programs use all 13 scholarships alotted by the NCAA.

    I can’t show you many programs that go 13 players deep. Most teams go 9-10 at most. If David Williams falls as one of the 11th-13th players on the bench, so be it. That’s par for the course. I don’t see what the negative fuss is about with this kid.

    If he turns out to be a real asset on the court, then great. If not, he’ll at least be an asset in practice and in the classroom and get a good, free education out of the deal. When you gut a program like we did, not only do you have to replace the stars and role players, but also the scholarship kids that ride the bench most of their hoops careers.

  10. ES,

    Good points. You certainly do need to replace those types of players as well. I think what some people may be concerned with is the chronology of Crean’s recruiting.

    I’m thinking most fans would like to see us get as many top-notch recruits as possible FIRST, and then worry about filling in the holes left for role/practice players — the thought process being that those types of players will be much easier to find and recruit and offer later in the game than the real marquee prospects. But you’re right, there are always a couple scholarship players who don’t see the court very much in their four years.

    I don’t think anyone is down on Williams yet, but I do think a lot of people are antsy and curious.

  11. To add yet another fine distinction to an already-over-analyzed discussion: I doubt Crean recruited this kid for his skills in all-star games. Not standing out in an all-star game doesn’t mean he won’t have a role in a system after being coached up in that system.

    Crean appears to have a number of good shooters and dribble-drive scorers in the fold. Someone who does the little things and is versatile on defense might make a solid contribution, despite not being a scorer.

  12. Try not to judge this kid so hard by one game. Crean and his staff must of saw something in him. You have to remember that you can’t recruit all superstars. Not enough basketballs to go around. There has to be some role players on a team.

  13. To expand on what Casey said, the real head scratcher here is that Crean offered this kid 2 years in advance of his ever stepping on campus. If it turns out that the kid is not a baller, why waste what is essentially your most valuable (and scarce) resource so far in advance?

    Given IU’s limited scholarships, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense that this marginal basketball player would get a 2012 scholarship offer instead of a high profile, 5 star player.

  14. I think we are used to seeing our recruits being the featured player. I guess Williams is not. Its difficult to say what that means without seeing the team play and knowing what the coach is trying to accomplish with his offense.

    As far as offers go, we don’t know anything about the conditions (if any) that Crean has put the offer under (eg if players X and Y accept offers, the offer to Wiliams is rescinded). If its all clear and upfront, I don’t have any problem with Crean doing business that way.

    Anyway, its too early to get excited about Williams not being impressive.

  15. I’d also add that I’m very happy that July came and we have something to blog about. It was getting slooooooooow.

  16. Agreed.

    Let the endless speculation, wishful thinking, excitement, venting and fruitless arguing begin…

  17. I agree with Casey. My feeling the entire time about Williams hasn’t been that I don’t want him at IU, it’s just the timing of the offer. Every team needs role players, but it’s much easier, and smarter for that matter, to get your big guns locked up, then add your role players.

    The role players need to compliment the stars, but you need to know what skills your stars have first. Just my opinion on it, but I’m very happy with Crean and will role with his judgment.

  18. I saw both pool games today that David Williams played at Cincy. In the first game, David was solid on defense. He played a lot in both games because the Celtics left two front line players at home who are attending summer school. David really stepped up along with Brandon Mobley in the first game. But the Celtics are a team dominated by 4 Star guards–McRae, Harrow, and the name won’t come but the guard committed to Tennessee. The Celtic guards rarely passed to the two inside players and it seemed to me that 25% of their passes inside were rather wild and hard for David and Brandon to catch. I don’t think any front line players could get many touches with those type of guards. The Celtics don’t run an offense like the Indiana Elite One where Plumlee, Zeller, Gant, Chavez had lots of good touches with the ball today. So, David Williams does not really play with touches on his team. There really was good news about David’s play in the second game against the Michigan Mustangs. Toward the end of the first half, the Celtics had a great surge largely because David Williams went head to head with Keith Appling and he really played good defense on Appling who is an outstanding player. Likewise David played good defense on their big man,(can’t think of his name but he is committed like Appling to Michigan St). I think it is time for some IU fans to accept the fact that DW is a Hoosier and nothing is going to change that.

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