Is this Amir Williams here to stay?
Barbara J. Perenic (Dispatch)
Buckeye basketball is a little upside-down right now. I suppose you can’t be too disgusted with that because they’re off to a 4-0 start. But a player you expect to be crap is playing like a stud and a player you expected to be a stud is playing like crap.
Sixteen points, 7 rebounds, a block and two steals. That’s a line I would take every single night out of junior Amir Williams.
But while I didn’t want to jump on him too much after a pretty slow first game against Morgan State, I don’t want to get too high on him for stepping on the gas pedal in the next three outings. It’s still early.
Here’s what is impressive in Amir’s game and there’s reason to see it continue. It looks like he has more pep this year. I used to fix my eyes on him last season and it would look like he was just going through the motions on offense. He gave off the appearance of a guy just trying to make sure he’s in the right place in the offense, instead of fighting, working and demanding the ball like a good big man should. He already looks like he’s scratching some of that out of his game.
It’s his overall energy that impressed me. I know American was at an incredible size disadvantage, but Amir at times looked like he had an Aaron Craft-type motor. If a ball was up for grabs down low he was aggressively going after it. And I’ve long been looking for Williams to give us a go-to move in the paint. A couple of times he had the baby-hook working for him. He even converted one with the left, his off hand.
Now I’m going to be watching closely to see how he responds to an early season double-double and a career high in scoring. Competition is going to get tougher and I want to continue to see his mechanics improve.
And while I just noted it’s early, take a look at how he came out of the gates last season. Through his first four games he had 14 points and eight rebounds. Total! He’s already had two games with a stat line like that through four games of the 2013-14 campaign.
I keep hearing that Williams is dominating in practice. Maybe that hasn’t been smoke.
Now if LaQuinton Ross can get his head out of his you-know-what this team can start taking the steps to becoming a finished product.