For Jordan Williams, a 'courageous' night
There have not been many times during ACC play when freshman forward Jordan Williams played like an overwhelmed first-year player. But his outing at Duke on Feb. 13 certainly was one of them. Williams tallied six points on 3-of-9 shooting and seven rebounds in 24 minutes, which is not all that bad of a stat line.
But it was the manner in which Duke was able to attack the glass, gain frequent second-chance points and remind observers that Williams (listed at 6 feet 10 and 260 pounds) is, in fact, a movable object that revealed the freshman's struggles.
Wednesday night, then, provided Williams -- who has been one of the top freshmen players in the ACC this season -- a chance to atone for an off performance. Matched up once again against Duke's 7-foot-1 center Brian Zoubek, Williams played with a dogged ferocity in the post. He finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
"Jordan Williams was just picking it up a notch as the game went on," Coach Gary Williams said. "And that’s a courageous performance from Jordan, because he really got schooled down at Duke. They have a way of doing that with their size and everything, and I thought Jordan really learned from that game. When you coach a freshman that has the potential that Jordan has, that’s really an encouraging sign to me as a coach. You want players to learn. You don’t mind if they get beat early in their career, but you want them to learn. You don’t want them to get beat the same way. And he came out tonight and he was determined to show that he could play with Duke’s big guys. And he did a very good job for us."
Though Duke outrebounded Maryland on the offensive glass (14-8), the Blue Devils were not able to capitalize on many of those opportunities. Maryland outscored Duke in second-chance points, 13-6. Zoubek, who had a career game against the Terrapins a few weeks ago in Durham, tallied four points and 13 rebounds.
Zoubek was able to maintain a presence on the boards, but he seemed out of sync whenever he had the ball in his hands. He was not as sure-handed as he was the first time around against Maryland. His movements were more disjointed. And to a certain extent, that was due to the defensive adjustments made by Jordan Williams.
"You do a lot with young players off the court with video and things like that," Gary Williams said. "You try to show them their mistakes, but you’re trying to build them up that you belong. You can play. This is why it looked bad down at Duke; this is what you did. And you just keep working on that mentally and physically. Jordan has great tools. He can catch the basketball. He’s got good feet for a guy that big. Now, he can get stronger and he can get a little more lift to his game, but in terms of heart and determination, that came with the package … I knew that was coming. And he’s not afraid. I think that’s the biggest thing. He wants to be out there in crucial situations."
Jordan Williams shot 5 for 5 from the free throw line in the second half and 7 for 9 from the charity stripe on the night.
"That’s definitely what we need, especially from a freshman," senior forward Landon Milbourne said of Jordan Williams's performance. "How big of a game this is, for him to come out there and not be rattled and play like he did, that was real big. Without him, we might not have gotten this win."
March 4, 2010; 12:58 PM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
Save & Share: Previous: Aggressiveness the key to Bowie's strong showing
Next: Maryland offense surged in final six minutes against Duke
Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 4, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Realness1 | March 4, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: deadskin | March 4, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: andreic | March 4, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: petecard | March 4, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ntlekt | March 4, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: deadskin | March 5, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.