Troy Williams named co-Big Ten Player of the Week #iubb

Troy Williams has authored flashes of brilliance in his year and a half of basketball in Bloomington. Indiana can only hope his latest encouraging stretch is the start of something resembling consistency.

Williams earned Big Ten co-Player of the Week honors on Monday, finding a reward for tying his career high with 22 points and adding 11 rebounds in Saturday’s win over No. 23 Butler. Maryland forward Jake Layman was also honored.

ESPN’s Andy Katz also recognized Williams as his national player of the week. It’s the second time in Williams’ career that he has been selected for a Big Ten weekly award after earning the league’s freshman of the week nomination on March 10.

For the season, Williams is averaging 13.2 points and 5.7 rebounds after posting his first career double-double on Saturday in the Crossroads Classic. The sophomore has scored in double figures in all nine games he’s played this season and, over his last two games, he’s responded from an uneven effort on the glass in a Dec. 9 loss to Louisville.

IU coach Tom Crean challenged Williams and Hanner Mosquera-Perea to be better, more aggressive rebounders in the days after Indiana’s 94-74 loss to the Cardinals at Madison Square Garden. In the two games since, Williams has averaged 18 and 9.5 rebounds in wins against Grand Canyon and Butler.

“He is learning more about patience with the ball and he has gotten better in the screen and roll game in the last couple of weeks,” Crean said after Saturday’s win. “He has gotten better with being tenacious, but he’s also got a lot of personal determination to be a great player. … Troy needed to become a more aggressive rebounder, a guy that uses screens better because we want to put the ball in his hands, become a more committed defender, and he’s got to stay absolutely humble as he does it. We have made progress, and we have to keep making progress.”

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