Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Mystery of Sean Williams

When Sean Williams was recruited, he was the ranked as high as the 20th best center in his class in the nation. I can't find the article now, but I'm pretty sure I read in the D.O. that he has a longer wingspan than anyone in the NBA. Plus he's listed at 6' 11". Someone with that kind of physical gift should be able to play some mean defense, right? He should be able to play Division I ball, right?

Well so far, no. The guy looks incredibly awkward every time I've seen him play (which is not very often). At the end of the St. John's game on Tuesday, he had an easy layup opportunity and completely botched it. This scholarship player was outshone in those waning seconds by walk-ons Reese and Presutti. Something's not right.

The coaching staff knew when they recruited Williams that he was going to be a gamble. According to this article, he only averaged 6.8 points and 3 rebounds his junior year. His senior year, he played so little that opposing coaches didn't even know he was on the team. Despite this, the SU coaching staff seemed to believe that, with the right training regimen, he could become a force in the Big East.

But now it seems Boeheim has given up on him.

The original plan to redshirt him his freshman year didn't work out. The Great Torn ACL Plague of 07-08 forced him to play eight minutes against Rutgers, disqualifying him from a redshirt. At the time, it seemed that Coach Boeheim decided to play him so that he could be worked into the depleted line-up, but we never saw him again. Jim apparently preferred playing only 6 men to trusting Sean out on the floor. Yikes.

Still, it seemed like all the guy needed was some time in the weight room. He could redshirt his sophomore year, beef up, and then have three years of kickin' ass. I thought that's what he was doing until the end of the St. John's game. He played in a Big East game. He wastes another year of eligibility.

My guess is that the coaches have decided he's not improving, so he just sits on the bench, waiting for his 4 years to go by. I'm sure having a body like that in practice helps the other players prepare for the likes of Thabeet, but he just can't cut it in the actual games. My guess is that if a hot recruit comes along and the team is out of scholarships to offer, Williams will be the one sacrificed. I hope he's making a good use of his free education because it seems like as far as basketball is concerned, he'll be nothing more than that mysterious figure, appearing once a year so we can all gawk at those arms.

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