J. Williams 'a force' against Villanova
One-fourth of the way through his freshman season, Jordan Williams has exceeded expectations in nearly every way possible. Williams had established himself as a capable rebounder before Sunday night's 95-86 loss to Villanova, but his offensive performance against the Wildcats revealed a growth in his game that has been expedited by hard work and necessity.
Williams, as you are well aware by now, has started every game so far this season because of the suspension of junior forward Dino Gregory. The adjustment to Division I opposition was not always smooth and Williams certainly took his lumps against Cincinnati and Wisconsin, but as he demonstrated Sunday night, he is rounding into more than just a useful rebounder for the Terrapins. And the encouraging news for Maryland fans is that his potential is far from reached.
Against Villanova, Williams tallied 19 points (on 5-of-8 shooting) and 12 rebounds. As much as the Terrapins struggled on the boards, imagine what the final score would have been had Williams not provided as strong a post presence as he did. Of Maryland's seven offensive rebounds on the night, Williams pulled down five.
"I can't say enough about Jordan Williams," Coach Gary Williams said. "He was a man out there tonight. He batted. He was a force."
And, as Terrapins Coach Gary Williams went on to note, Jordan Williams displayed an improved shooting touch from the free throw line. Jordan Williams entered Sunday shooting 40 percent from the charity stripe. He made 9 of 13 (69.2 percent) free throw attempts against Villanova.
Jordan Williams still undergoes his share of freshman moments. With 39 seconds remaining in the game and Maryland trailing by six, he missed two free throws after having been solid from the line all night.
But he played a large role in keeping Maryland in contention during a first half in which Villanova could have established far more than an 11-point lead. He was equally effective in the second half.
"Well, he's figuring it out," Gary Williams said of Jordan Williams's offensive development. "It takes time. This is his eighth game. He's played against some really good inside players already. I think he feels that when he plays really hard he can compete at that level. I was really played with what he did tonight, and I think he can get better. He's only going to gain confidence as we go along here."
Jordan Williams is averaging 8.4 points and 8.6 rebounds in 24.1 minutes per game this season. He is shooting 45.3 percent from the field.
Tomorrow, we'll take a closer look at how Jordan Williams, specifically, should benefit from Gregory's return to the lineup, which is scheduled for Saturday against Eastern Kentucky.
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