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Jordan Williams 'on a fine line'

Maryland freshman forward Jordan Williams continues to impress during his inaugural ACC campaign. In conference play, Williams has averaged 9.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. That rebounding average ranks fourth in the ACC. And aside from his statistical production, Williams has been more than a capable defender against some of the top front-court players in the conference.

On Wednesday night -- for the second time this season -- Williams played a large role in helping to negate the effectiveness of N.C. State forward Tracy Smith, who Coach Gary Williams said earlier this week would be considered one of the top post players in the ACC were it not for the Wolfpack's poor record. Smith collected 10 points and six rebounds, but never was a major factor in the game, not even during the first half when N.C. State built a 12-point lead.

"Just being smart," Jordan Williams said when asked how he's been able to defend players such as Smith so well this season. "Beating him to the spot, putting a hand up. Just trying to be smarter than him. He's an experienced player, so if I can outsmart him as a freshman, that's a good thing."

It would certainly seem so. His coach, though, gave a more reserved assessment after Jordan Williams posted his fifth double-double of the season (19 points, 11 rebounds).

"At this point in his career he's on a fine line between being good and not being so good, because he's not a great athlete yet," Gary Williams said. "I think there's a great athlete there if he works hard this spring and summer in the weight room, just like Lonny Baxter. He's the best reference I can use. ... Lonny became a much better athlete. Chris Wilcox became a much better athlete after their freshman year. What they do is they get a look at what they have to work on, not just hear it from a coach but see it for themselves and then get it done if they're so inclined, and hopefully Jordan will go that way."

By Steve Yanda  |  February 18, 2010; 10:23 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Once up to speed, Maryland flourished in second half against Wolfpack

Comments

JWill is a monster. I had high expectations for him this year, but they were tempered somewhat because of the supposedly soft league in which he played in Connecticut. However, he has exceeded all of my expectations and probably those of most MD fans. I wish he would be better from the line, but like with his conditioning, that can be improved. One of my roommates last night commented on the fact that he has great hands for a big man (a la Baxter), but his are probably better than Lonny's were when he was a Frosh. And he runs the floor! This team is looking better and better each week. Having said that, we've got to come out strong on Saturday against GTech. Not a must win game by any means, but a loss would be a huge let-down. Nine and three in the conference would be fantastic with four games to go.

Posted by: CYork1 | February 18, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Love this kid. Great hands, good touch, and great mental make up. I can't wait to see what a year of Gary's offseason weight program can do for this kid.

Posted by: lavar609 | February 18, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

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