There are strong rumors floating around College Park and the surrounding interweb that C Jordan Williams has a strong desire to leave Maryland after two years and pursue his pro career. These are just rumors at this point but, there is a strong sentiment that Williams is more than likely gone. The situation can obviously chance and nothing is set in stone until he signs with an agent, or with a professional team. Williams had a very strong sophomore season, but many feel that he would be making a mistake by leaving this early. Williams’ departure would also be a major blow to a Maryland program that has little in the way of returning front-court talent.
I would argue that Williams does not have an NBA ready game at this point. Yes he played well enough to make the ACC’s 1st team, but there are some real holes in his game. Williams struggled against defenders that were bigger than he. He also lacks athleticism, his shooting range is limited to about 7-8 feet, and he is an average defensive player. Williams does have a nice touch around the basket, good footwork, great hands and an understanding of how to use his body to get his shot off. The other major problem that Williams faces is regards to playing in the league is that he is going to need to be a 4 and it is obvious his game does not match up well with the Stoudamire’s, Bosh’s, Griffin’s and Aldridge’s in the NBA.
From that angle it seems like it is a no brainer that Williams should return. The flip side of the coin is that the upcoming draft class appears weak. This could change greatly over the next two years to Williams’ detriment. Williams might have a better shot of being drafted this year than a year or 2 from now. Another argument in favor of Williams leaving is that he is who he is a a basketball player. He is not going to develop incredible hops by staying at Maryland, nor is he likely to grow 2 or 3 inches. Williams is a skilled player, who has room for improvement. Can he improve more by being a college player for another year or two, or by becoming a professional?
The risk for Williams is that he may not be good enough to be drafted, or if he is drafted in the 2nd round, and then is cut, he would seriously hamper his NBA chances. Hopefully, Williams will get a clear picture of where he stands from NBA management. I have a feeling that the message for him is that he is not good enough to play int he NBA right now, but from what I am hearing in regards to Williams and his desire to not be in college any longer, he may not be listening to that advice.
Should Williams risk leaving Maryland, or should he come back for at least another year? And if Williams leaves, could it be the beginning of the end for Gary Williams at Maryland? Coach Williams has a few exciting players on their way to College Park, but the 2011-2012 Terps could be brutal without Williams in the post.