Williams to enter NBA Draft, won’t hire agent #iubb

Troy Williams has declared for the NBA Draft, but his Indiana career may not be over.

IU announced Monday that Williams will preserve his amateurism by not immediately hiring an agent, leaving open the possibility that he could return to school for his senior year next fall. In the meantime, Williams is the first Hoosier to take advantage of new NCAA rules that allow players who declare for this year’s NBA Draft to attend the league’s combine from May 10-15 in Chicago, work out for one team and gather hands-on feedback from NBA power brokers.

Those who do not hire an agent and maintain their amateur status then have until May 25 to decide whether they will remain in the draft pool or stay in school.

This year’s draft will be held on June 23.

“After much thought and family discussion, I’ve decided to declare for this year’s NBA Draft but will not hire an agent,” Williams said in a statement released by the Indiana program. “This gives me the opportunity to explore future possibilities, while keeping my options open. Coach Crean is always supportive and makes sure that you have the best information to help you make a decision like this and I value his input. I’m excited to go through this process.”

Williams started 34 of the 35 games he played as a junior last season, earning a spot on the All-Big Ten Third Team after averaging 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He started 94 of the 95 games he played during the last three seasons and became the eighth IU player under coach Tom Crean to score 1,000 career points. He closed his junior season ranked at No. 40 all time with 1,115 points at Indiana.

The Hampton, Va. native flirted with the draft after his sophomore year last season, but decided to return to school. He is on track to graduate with his bachelor’s degree in recreational sports management next month.

Williams told The Herald-Times before this season began that he thought his junior year could be his last at Indiana. The 6-foot-7 wing showed signs of growth with his jump shot, but questions remain about Williams’ consistency and decision making.

According to DraftExpress.com, Williams is currently considered the No. 83 overall prospect in this year’s NBA Draft, while ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford ranks Williams at No. 86 overall. Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report Williams’ decision.

Williams’ uncle, Boo, told The Herald-Times that the ability to have face-to-face interactions with NBA scouts at next month’s combine could boost his stock.

“A guy like Troy really benefits,” Boo Williams said. “He can test the waters. He’s the kind of guy with his athleticism, he can jump in the draft with the workouts and the combine. It’s a good rule for him.”

Williams’ quickness and athleticism have long been his best attributes, however his ability to harness his speed, ball-handling and spur-of-the-moment decision making remain works in progress. He went scoreless in a game at Michigan State on Feb. 14, but scored in double figures in eight of IU’s final nine games of the season. That includes his 21 points — 20 of which were scored in the second half — against North Carolina in IU’s Sweet 16 loss.

Boo said former NBA star John Lucas, a family friend, will help Williams weigh his options as draft projections and scouting feedback becomes more clear. Williams has spent the last five offseasons working out with Lucas.

“He tries to give you the whole menu on every play,” Lucas told The H-T before the season. “What I try to get him to do is tell him that great players have one of two things: they have at least one thing they do great, and then they’re very good to average at other things. You can’t be great at everything. You’ve got to decide what’s going to be your calling card.”

Williams seemed to add a different dimension to his game as a junior, showing a greater willingness to attempt open 3-pointers. He shot 34 percent (26-for-75) from the perimeter — a figure that was actually down from the 46 percent he shot as a sophomore. Granted, Williams reached that figure with far fewer attempts, going 6-for-13 from beyond the arc as a sophomore.

Boo Williams said IU coach Tom Crean and his staff deserve credit for helping his nephew with his jumper.

“The percentage might not show it, but remember he shot more shots,” Boo said. “Even the shots that he missed looked better. With a guy like that, there’s ongoing work on his jump shot and teams that are interested in Troy, they’re not going to draft Troy for his jump shot. They’re gonna want Troy for his athletic ability. They’ll work on the jump shot. No NBA team will draft him for his jump shot. … He can be a guy that can run the floor. He can get you extra possessions. He can do a lot of different things. That’s why you would draft Troy.”

Williams initial draft decision is the latest to be made within IU’s program. Indiana announced last week that center Thomas Bryant declined to declare for the draft and attend the combine, choosing instead to return for his sophomore season this fall.

Indiana does not have any scholarships open for next season, but if Williams decides to forego his final year of eligibility, one would immediately open.

Nearly two weeks ago, IU coach Tom Crean made an offer to Kansas junior college forward Freddie McSwain — an athletic player who is, perhaps, built in a similar mold to Williams — while ESPN recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi tweeted last week that four-star Australian guard William McDowell-White has interest in visiting Indiana.

34 comments

  1. Go do your workouts. See you May 25 @ IU…unless he will have a chance to make the big money or unless he utilizes the same decision making skills he utilizes on the bb court, then he would make the jump. T.W. needs to learn to strike a balance of when to assert himself and let the game come to him. That maturity and skill is not there yet. I see him lucky to be a 2nd round pick or playing overseas or who knows.

  2. I’m Jack’s completely lack of surprise. Troy has a lot of family pressure to find his way into the Big Dance. It is why his mother had a Twitter meltdown when he was benched for poor play in Maui.

    He’ll learn a lot about his NBA prospects going through this process. He learn quickly that until he demonstrates that he can handle the ball, his athletic potential isn’t enough to get him on an NBA roster. Another year in college should do Troy well.

  3. Higher draft does come with bigger bucks….It also comes with rotting on irrelevant teams like the Orlando Magic. Understood we’ll be getting Blackmon back and some fresh new guards in the mix…But how that translates into arriving at a destination equaling what a senior point guard the quality of Yogi was providing(now absent) has to be involved in Troy’s decision process. Will this team go deep without a seasoned point guard the quality of Ferrell? Does Troy reap the rewards of staying when the best facilitator of his college career has graduated? Does he gain enough notoriety/visibility/attention on the floor via his own “maturity” and “decision making” improvements to counter what he obviously loses because of Yogi’s departure?

  4. Another year in college for Dipo and Zeller would have done banners well…..At the end of the day, what else should we really care about? Why on earth should I care one player’s pathway of least resistance to his personal pot of gold? That is the cancerous and narcissistic mindset put upon the game …There is no amount of reasoning or maturity that would stop any of us from boarding that train.

    It is rare to find a young man that would stay in college regardless of his preparedness for the next level…College basketball is becoming a one night stand with an ugly virgin….The NBA is a house of getting your 24/7 gold, your 24/7 headlines, and your 24/7 beautiful hotel maids turned your 24/7 hookers… Maturity? Development? Teammates? Banners? It can’t compete. It will never compete.

  5. We all know Troy has exceptional athletic ability. He can jump, finish strong on the fast break and around the rim. He has glaring weaknesses that will cause him serious issues in the NBA. His jump shot and ball handling are mediocre at best and I am amazed he has not significantly improved in those areas knowing what is at stake. His decision making is suspect and he lacks one-on-one defensive skills. With that being said, I am not sure he would improve them staying on more year at IU. His stock may not be higher a year from now. The real question is, who else could Crean bring in that might actually be an upgrade if Troy leaves?

  6. I like the new rules and giving these young men options, and Troy is going about this process the right way. However, my guess is that he’s going to receive feedback that directs him back to IU for his senior season.

    I disagree that he would not improve with another year at IU. I think he can make significant improvements, both in skills and as a team-leader. And those improvements will only enhance his value to NBA teams.

    There’s risk involved no matter what decision he makes. But from a long term perspective, unless he has a lot of NBA coaches and executives telling him he will definitely be drafted, the greater risk is to leave school before he gets his degree and then not make an NBA roster. No matter how it turns out, I wish him the best.

  7. Hoosier Hopeful, I think you nailed it. Troy has some amazing skills and he has some glaring weaknesses. That has been his MO since his first day on campus. Some guys, like VO, have made extraordinary improvements in their games during that time. Vic became a solid ball handler and is projected as the Magic’s long term answer at the point. Some guys don’t. Troy seems, to me, to have improved somewhat overall but he doesn’t seem to have put to rest any of the flaws. Like you, I’m not sure one more year of the same is going to conquer his shortcomings.

    This is a great opportunity for him. I could see how, in isolation, his physical skills may just prove to be irresistible. It only takes one guy to fall in love with him and offer the big bucks.

    I can’t see a scenario where he would be an impact player in the League next season. Maybe someday. Perhaps the NBA would be a better training ground than college. I wouldn’t think so but maybe it is.

    My bet is he’s gonna be a Hoosier next season. There are two rounds in the draft and 30 teams in the league. At 80-something he’s not even likely to be drafted.

  8. One reason T.W. lacks ball handling is because of his decision making and wants to be M.J.ish. T.W. does not have a consistent balance of when to let the game come to him and to be assertive without blatantly forcing things. He shot well against N.C. but his outside shot needs to be much improved for consistency. All of T.W. flashy ness is deceptive. He still gets 2 points per bucket, once in a great while a 3 pointer or 2 plus a free throw. Overall, I do not think he is good enough or even physical to be drafted. Having said this I think he could make a few hundred thousand dollars playing bb somewhere

  9. Thanks, Chet. So if he stays, he begins work on a graduate degree? Even though having a degree reduces his risk, I still think he returns to IU next year.

  10. Now that he’s going to the Combine, he has betrayed his uniform by way of narcissism…Good for Thomas Bryant to not play such stupid games. The candy stripes should never be home once it is cheated of full faith and heart the brothel known as the NBA… For all those that hated on Troy throughout the season, they now recoil because they realize Crean needs him now. Now they want the man to have sound reasoning when only a couple months ago most on here were pleading for a coach to bench him or cut him.

    But things change when you top out at Sweet 16’s…Now Crean is Troy’s easy fallback plan if the brothel thinks he’s still too wet behind the ears of a developed game….Hilarious.

  11. Net 0. That should be Troy’s nickname. Throughout a season, and at times within a very game, Troy is not a difference maker at all. Taken in fractions of time, he can look like Michael Jordan & a fraction later, Michael Moore. Odd. Bad. Hopeless.

    Good riddance and congratulations Troy. It is time for both of us to move on. You’re not getting any better and 1 more summer in Bloomington and more hours in Cook are not going to improve your ball handling and shooting. In fact, I fear that the latter would cause you to take even more bad shots. We have advice for someone like you as an opponent; “Keep shooting.”

    I hope that this turns out well for Troy and he moves on. It is best for all of us. It is certainly a remedy for my blood pressure.

  12. I haven’t bragged about myself for a while, and I know you guys miss that… So here goes: I’m pretty sure I haven’t been wrong about an IU players drafts prospects in a while. In fact I can’t remember ever being wrong. Cody – check. Dipo – check. Hulls – check. NV – check. Wat – yup. Yogi – been right so far. Not sure if I’m missing anyone. As I’ve been saying all along, TW is not an NBA player. He is an NBA athlete. That’s it. There is nothing else that translates, and his athleticism wouldn’t stand out on that court.

    That being said, I absolutely think he is doing the right thing. More than anyone I’ve ever kept a close eye on, this kid benefits from the new pre-draft process. He will go up against other guys, get great coaching and feedback, learn what the necessary skills are to get to the next level, and hopefully, gain perspective.

    I am torn. There is a huge part of me that wants him to go to the draft so I pull fewer hairs out next year, but there’s the nicer part of me that thinks he may turn a corner like Yogi did this year. If he can just be a slasher, finisher, rebounder, defender, and havoc-inducer, then we are in great shape. If he somehow gets it in his head (and the coaches allow it) that he needs to make up for Yogi’s play-making then we are in some serious trouble.

    I think IU’s team will be the most balanced of Crean’s tenure. There should be depth in both the front, and back, court for the first time. There should be shooting, rebounding, defending, and decision-making on the court no matter the line-up.

    I think we’re real good with or without Troy. I guess, ultimately, I’d like to see him fill his role and experience some real joy with a FF-caliber team.

  13. Yikes…

    Being “right” is currently under review….What is taking the refs so long? Answer coming in from the lead official now….
    Answer: It’s not relevant…Whatever these former and current Hoosiers do or don’t do(much of which is still under review because there careers have barely begun) as it pertains to “successful” or “not-so-successful” attempts to play the game at the next level has no bearing whatsoever on Indiana Basketball.. The utmost concern should never leave us simply striving to be a less efficient and mini version of the NBA farm at John Calipari’s University of Draft Night ….. Let the Villanova model serve as our inspiration…Let grit and defensive tenacity and senior leadership bring us back ..Let’s demand more from our program than the carnival of mediocrity sold as “success” because random names find a Dipo-heap-o’-gold after leaving Indiana.
    Again, the Villanova model…the Butler model….We will soon be 10 years into this coach and have seen nothing to prove our new standard is Round of 32. Once we get to a Sweet 16 it has ended in being totally outclassed and out-coached.

    I care deeply with regard to whether or not Geoff is making the ‘NBA calls’ correctly…during the wasted decade of talent that has spun through our Hoosier revolving door. We will soon be 50 million into salary for a coach and a carnival administration that has never offered an ounce of proof or hope as to having a clue to approach a Butler or Villanova model Talent without undaunted grit and collective team understanding of the game….is akin to giving top ingredients for an exquisite meal to a bragging kitchen coach raised on fast food and TV dinners.

    If they only had “Combines” to filter out the happenstance names that aren’t qualified to teach at the levels they are already destroying. Next level for our players? How about being first and foremost concerned with giving ALL Hoosiers a coach befitting of this level of the game — the college game. It’s great to use Indiana as more marketing for a D-league, a D-po…or a D-wade….But when our we going to go D-eep into a tournament? When are we not going to get D-stroyed at a Sweet 16 by a team from Syracuse or NC…? When are we going to truly honor the teaching history of this wonderful university that once set the standard of the Butler and Villanova models ?

    Meanwhile, it’s just another summer of listening to the apologizing for irrelevance…or we can turn on ESPN and listen to the whining from ACC and SEC as they complain about Michigan Football stealing their recruiting base..Yeah, we haven’t felt that pain as we’ve watched Coach K and NC steal numerous ‘bigs’ from Indiana via satellite basketball academies .. …Or maybe just listen to Geoff being “right” while Indiana constantly comes up on the wrong side of the score after signature Round of 32 victories…
    Or maybe we can get our mojo on as we deflect and change the the turning of a team game into an NBA beauty pageant(now they get a week to put on their Hoosier bikini for the talent judges)…Yippee Vote for Trump Basketball! Vote for Geoff! It’s all about being pretty for the next level….

    From my vantage point, our focus is damn awful hideous…and Villanova’s handsomely intelligent coach will never belong in our preachy, arrogant, shallow beauty pageant of talking the talk but never walking the walk…..(as in a team game, the best COLLEGE teachers of the game our history and money can buy, and cutting down nets beyond a “Sweet 32″(courtesy: Seahawk Tom)).

    Caliber? Here’s Crean’s caliber.

  14. Above comments citing Troy’s family situation make a relevant point. He seems to have a lot of weight on him to start making the big $ and it might be affecting his focus. None of us can blame his family for wanting the best for him and being protective of him, but there seems to be an especially heavy load on his shoulders in that regard. If he does come back, I can see the pressure from outside the program to ‘showcase’ him being even greater next year. Might be a chemistry problem.

  15. I said right about their “draft prospects”, not about their NBA success, although I don’t think I’ve been wrong about those either. They’ve basically all done what I thought they’d do to this point.

  16. Did you think Dipo’s scoring numbers would be slightly down in his 3rd season? Did you see him as a player often coming off the bench? No more dunk contests at the All-Star game….Even a slightly more than casual viewers of the NBA don’t even know he exists.. He has his breakout games(Dipo gets fired up against the contending teams that use a game against Orlando as rest and relaxation), but then he goes into the usual roller coaster ride of .258 shooting percentages..and 1 for 5 nights from outside…He will always be plagued by lack of offensive consistency. It’s the shot…It’s always been the shot.

    Cody…Cody..Cody…How many guys that go that high in the draft end up averaging 7 to 8 points per game? Jordan hit another home run.

    A bit off-topic…but speaking of MJ, can one imagine the number of NBA Titles if MJ doesn’t fool around in baseball(basically taking him out for two seasons)? Warriors compared to Bulls….? What nonsense…Call me when you have six championships….(likely 8 or 9 if Jordan doesn’t try his hand at baseball).

  17. The “caliber” of talent a place like Indiana can draw with even a mediocre coach will never be the issue.. That’s a much more probabilistic roadblock for IU Football than it will ever be for IU Basketball….

    I get so tired of the praises based on finding dark horse talent….First, we don’t even need dark horse talent. If Crean could simply look attractive to the top talent within our Indiana borders, he could far exceed his averages in his 1 for 20 home run finds..

    Mini Calipari will never return us to the Hoosier standard now more a model for places like Butler, ND, and Villanova….and Xavier. Defensive tenacity, old school savvy, and ‘team first’ mentality…Watching Demetrius Jackson in tears after ND’s loss to UNC was the sort of “business left undone” desire once indicative of Indiana Hoosier basketball. Now all is right in the world if our NBA prospects look sexy at a Combine beauty pageant…

  18. Speaking of tired…

    Harv moving the goal posts again? Dipo has bad game? He’s overrated draft bust who couldn’t hang with UK’s NBAers. Dipo has great game? Dipo playing again inferior competition. Dipo lights up the league’s top teams? Those teams were (coicidentally, ALL OF THEM) just loafing and let him score/rebound/steal the ball a lot.

    Thanks Jeremy. That was post of the year. 🙂

  19. And the current claim is “they” don’t read Harvard anymore…Hilarious.

    Why is Jackson declaring a surprise? Business left undone. That’s why he was overcome by emotion against UNC. Can’t seem to remember any Hoosier with that sort of emotion…It’s almost a predetermined given in their heart that it won’t get done(as in deep tournament runs).. Whether they declare as freshman, junior, or senior….they have long ago resigned to Crean’s ceiling and have already been looking ahead to individualistic goals.

    Dipo 45 points against Cleveland

    Next three games he goes 3 for 13 from the perimeter(.231). Everyone here wet themselves over his Cleveland game…Next three games and Dipo goes into deep freeze..It’s his trademark. It’s the shot. It will always be the shot. He finds it for a day and then he loses it for a week. Nothing pure and nothing consistently confident in the stroke. Inconsistency and lack of strong constitution against all levels of competition is the trademark of all Crean’s dark horse choir boys from the East.

  20. And the fact remains that Dipo’s average has dropped nearly two points per game(even with the wetting of the pants outbreaks) over last season. He has twenty fewer starts than his second year.

    7 to 8 ppg. for Cody….in his 3rd season.

    A drop-off in scoring avg for Dipo with more games off the bench rather than a starter.

    Neither of these guys makes a SportsCenter show more than once a month. They simply have no relevance at any discussion of NBA’s stars or upcoming stars. Dipo’s singing must have disqualified him from All-Star dunk contests. Zeller and Dipo will go down in NBA history as the biggest ‘yawn’ top draft choices ever.

    Stay at IU one more season each ….? They would have made their average coach into a legend…Thank God they went early….Praise the Lord. You guys get all flustered over beating UK in a down year….Can’t imagine how one Final Four trip would make you claim Crean as the Mesiah.

  21. Ah yes, the esteemed Villanova model, a true beacon of NCAA tournament success. Jay Wright’s postseason record at Villanova:
    2002–2004: NIT
    2005: 2-1 NCAA
    2006: 3-1
    2007: 0-1
    2008: 2-1
    2009: 4-1
    2010: 1-1
    2011: 0-1
    2012: 13-19, no postseason
    2013: 0-1
    2014: 1-1
    2015: 1-1
    2016: 6-0

    IU under Crean:
    2009-2011: no postseason
    2012: 2-1 NCAA
    2013: 2-1
    2014: no postseason
    2015: 0-1
    2016: 2-1

    Yep, going forward IU should strive to follow the Villanova model and aim for a similar trajectory starting next year that includes making a final four, followed by 6 years of not getting past the second round (including not making the postseason one year), and then at last winning a national championship.

  22. No one is wetting themselves and no one called Dipo the second coming of Michael Jordan. Just enjoying watching you chase him like Jeff Meyer. Only, you aren’t doing it after winning the B1G outright.

  23. Neither of these guys makes a SportsCenter show more than once a month.

    Correction: Zeller never makes a SportsCenter show…He goes from gracing the covers of every major sport publication while propelling Indiana into the hype of preseason #1 rankings and Sweet 16’s to complete irrelevance by his 3rd NBA season.. Might as well call him Steve Alford without the banner. Of course, he’ll stick around longer than Alford because he can snag some boards and play smart enough to help defend inside. Yippee. The dude could have ended a 30 year banner drought ..and taken Larry Bird off the podium as most legendary from the corn. Banners, bitches…Banners.

  24. Models aren’t necessarily built via the Calipari method…or the cheating UNC method…I’m pretty sure Villanova builds grit more than drop-jaw talent… Crean will never have the X’s and O’s acumen for the game as Jay Wright. Anyone paying average attention to the college game could get to such conclusion nearly immediate.

  25. Elite 8, Sweet 16, Final Four, Championship. …in a 10 year span.

    Three Sweet 16 embarrassments…in a 8 year span? Well, Crean has two years to give me an Elite 8, a Final Four, and a Championship…Should be fun to watch the Hoops Messiah get it done.

    I think most of us would take an Elite 8, Final Four, and a Championship banner over three or four Sweet 16’s in 10 years.

  26. Thanks for posting that Chet. Not bad for a guy who gets to play against everyone taking a break every night.

  27. They all take breaks against the biggest bottom feeder in the league. He’s never mentioned in the circles of discussion on any sports channels I watch. Rankings?

    I looked at an SI piece that didn’t even have his name in the Top 100. His numbers are down in his 3rd year.compared to 2nd year. His minutes are down. He started 20 less games. 64 could be 164 if given different sets of parameters. Zeller and Dipo could have been immortal Hoosiers…They are now both irrelevant.

    Double Down should know this…It’s all about the Warriors and Steph….It must be hell to play for the Magic…Nearly as bad as getting drafted by the Clippers…Nobody cares. Nobody watches.

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