By: Pardeep Toor
Final moments often translate as lasting memories and the only thing I remember about Terrence Williams this off-season is how he disappeared against Michigan State in the NCAA tourney. Against State, Williams had 5 points (1-7 from the field), 6 rebounds and 4 assists, mostly being guarded by the smaller and lighter Travis Walton and minuscule (by comparison) Kalin Lucas. Dude has to do a little better than that in the biggest game of his career.
Not to judge solely based on one game, Williams did have a plethora of highlights throughout the year, but overall was an inconsistent scorer. Williams scored in single digits in 14 games this year but he also scored 20 or more points eight times during the season. Despite being a freak athlete, he only went to the free throw line 3.2 times a game but had 12 double-digit rebounding games -- pretty ridiculous for a guard.
Williams is a prototypical mid-to-late first round pick showing tantalizing skills and potential but having fundamental flaws in his game. It's bothersome that this past season was Williams' senior year which should have been his evolution into a complete player but mimicked his previous three, albeit with marginally higher averages across the board.
Senior Year: 12.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.3 steals, 43.1 FG%, 58.1 FT%, 38.5 3 PT%, 2.0 TOs
Free throw percentage is abysmal for a guard
Best Case: Gary Payton -- not my words but his own above. If that's who he wants, I'll give it to him. (My pick -- Mickael Pietrus, with much improved shooting).
Worst Case: DeShawn Stevenson -- athletic volume shooter off the bench.
Fit With The Pistons: Not very good. Williams is a combo guard with a scoring mentality who is a streaky college scorer at best. Should he be drafted by the Pistons, Williams would probably be the best athlete on the team but his game remains unpolished and undisciplined creating a fragile situation with the instability in the frontcourt. If Stuckey isn't the team's combo guard of the future, then maybe you take Williams and decide which one will be the better leader and scorer (I think Stuckey). But a Stuckey/Williams backcourt is redundant and will continue the uncertainty and overall misdirection on the court.
Unlike Maynor and Lawson who have more true point guard potential, Williams will have a difficult learning curve to be a point guard, if that's the direction Curry wants him to go. It really makes no sense trying to train two combo guards to either co-exist in the backcourt or groom one of them to be a point guard with Rip Hamilton still lurking on the roster. That didn't really work out last year.
How about a Stuckey/Williams crunch time backcourt next year?