Robert Williams – Texas A&M
CPP Big Board Ranking: #15 Overall (#5 PF/#6 C)
Weight: 240 lbs
Age/Birthday: 20 (10/17/97)
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
High School: North Caddo H.S. (Louisiana)
(Brett Siegel – 1/24/18)
Many people may not know about who Robert Williams is as a result of him being in the SEC, but it is time to get familiar with this name. After being a projected Top 20 pick in last year’s NBA Draft, Robert Williams decided to return for his sophomore season in College Station. Williams put together a very solid freshman season for a Texas A&M team that struggled, averaging 11.9 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and shot 55.8% from the floor. This season, Robert Williams has not missed a step, and is practically averaging a double-double with points and rebounds per game. His long reach and strong body frame gives Williams an advantage in the post and a threat to out rebound any of his opponents. Robert Williams length also draws a lot of potential to himself from an NBA standpoint. His wingspan is measured just under 7’5” and has the potential to be an avid shot blocker in the league. In highschool, he was a great shot blocker, which led him to being ranked #50 on ESPN’s 2016 Top 100 Recruits. During his time at Texas A&M, Williams has taken a slight step back with being a shot blocker, but is still averaging about 2.5 blocks/game during his college career. As a result of Robert William’s potential at being a true big man, he is ranked high on a lot of scouts big boards and continues to see his name move up.
Strengths: Robert Johnson’s greatest strengths is his rebounding tendencies and his defensive upside and potential. Whether on offense or defense, Robert Williams has the ability to grab the rebound and create more shot opportunities for his team, regardless of where in the paint he stands. His footwork can be improved upon when rebounding, but is still far ahead the likes of other big men in this year’s draft class. When teams look at Robert Williams, they see an athletic, 6’10” monster with an incredible wingspan and shot blocking opportunity. He is also very quick on his feet for a big and has the ability to out run his opponents down the court. This alone is enough for NBA personnel to draft this guy. Robert Williams’ ability to explode to the rim is also a very favorable trait he possesses. His springy/bouncy like feet allow him to quickly explode to the rim and sky over his opponents. Williams is that “highlight reel” type of player and always electrifies the crowd with his jaw-dropping slams and physical nature. His versatility and explosive nature makes him better than other big men because he normally does not have to “load up” to sky to the rim. Most guys, at least at the college level, have to gather themselves first and then rise up. For Robert Williams, it is all one motion as a result of his “springy-ness.” Defensive wise, he does an excellent job closing out shooters on the opposing team. When it comes to mid-range shots, you better be prepared to change your shot because Williams will be there to alter it. Shooters struggle shooting over Robert Williams, not only because of his long arms contesting the shot, but because of his athletic ability to get off ground. There are not many big men with the abilities and tendencies that Robert Williams has, leading to all the potential he possesses moving forward.
Weaknesses: Robert Williams is an animal in the paint offensively, but tends to struggle at times shooting outside the paint. He is not necessarily a great mid-range shooter, and his 3-pt game is almost non-existent. His jumper will need some work moving into the NBA and is still very unpolished. Williams’ release on the ball is not terrible, but his mechanics leading up to the shot still need to be polished. As well as struggling with jumpers, Robert Williams also has trouble settling for easy shots. As a result of being a “high-flyer” and explosive player, Williams is always looking to make the highlight reel type play. This results in him driving into traffic and absorbing a lot of unnecessary contact. Seeing that robert Williams shoots under 60% for his career at the free-throw line, this may not be the best decision moving into the NBA. The last thing you want to be labeled as in the league is a guy who cannot shoot free throws… “Hack-a-shaq.” As a passer, Robert Williams displays solid vision at times, but is not always reliable with the ball in his hands, mainly because of him always wanting to drive into traffic. Defensively, Robert Williams lacks discipline at times and is too quick when making defensive decisions. Whether it is closing out a shooter too soon and fouling them, or always trying to go for a block, Robert Williams can occasionally find himself in foul trouble. Williams has also been seen to play down to his opponent at times instead of taking it to them and overpowering them. There is no reason why Williams shouldn’t dominate opponents smaller than him and shows his lack of effort at times. If Williams wants to become a great NBA player, this cannot happen and he needs to stay mentally focused for all 82 games in the season.
Player Outlook & NBA Comparison: Antonio McDyess & Smaller Andre Drummond
In the history of comparing college prospects to current and past NBA players, this may have been the easiest comparison I have ever made. Robert Williams is Antonio McDyess 2.0 to a point! They are so similar in all styles of the game that it is almost creepy. Over his 16-year career, Antonio McDyess averaged 12.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.1 BPG, and shot about 50% from the floor for his career. He stood just under 6’10” and weighted in around 240 lbs, but was a high flyer and consistent role player for every team he played for. McDyess was named an All-Star once and named to the 1998-99 All NBA Team. He may not have been the best NBA player, but nonetheless, Antonio McDyess was an athletic, aggressive forward. McDyess was a great shot-blocker, always contesting shots in the lane. Robert Williams possesses almost the same talents and qualities that Antonio McDyess had. Consistent and solid minutes is what Robert Williams’ future NBA team will want and if he turns out to be like McDyess, his team will definitely be happy to have him.
I am not going to lie, I also see the potential for Robert Williams to become a smaller Andre Drummond. This is as far as I see Williams’ ceiling growing and do not see him growing past the mold of a player like Drummond who is a very aggressive rebounding and blocking player. If there is one thing Andre Drummond, Antonio McDyess, and Robert Williams all have in common, it is that they beat their opponents in the paint on both sides of the court and will give their teams valuable minutes in the post. Robert Williams has things to work on, but should be a solid bench player in his first few years in the NBA.
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