Johnathan Williams III has announced that he will be transferring to the Gonzaga Bulldogs after announcing he would be leaving the Missouri Tigers a few months ago. Williams was one of the top-50 recruits in the nation in 2012 and will sit out for the 2015-16 season before playing the following season.
However, what is Gonzaga actually getting in Williams, a player who fans are likely unfamiliar with due to the struggles of the Tigers and the distance between the two schools?
Williams struggled in his first season with Missouri, but was a part of a one of the most explosive offenses in college basketball and was therefore asked to play a supplementary role. With players like the Los Angeles Lakers‘ Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown on the floor, it’s easy to see why his scoring numbers were at only 5.8 points per game. He rebounded well and defended the rim as a freshmen, showing that he can play a role when needed.
However, this last season the Tigers were without their high-octane offense, and Missouri’s new coach Kim Anderson was forced to try run the offense through Williams. It didn’t work out. Williams’ defensive numbers dropped in favor of doubling his scoring, and it was one of the many factors that led to the Tigers being the worst team in the SEC.
Williams is not going to be a superstar with Gonzaga, but he is going to be able to do what he does best, which is rebound, defend the rim and finish at the rim. He will be a double-double threat on a nightly basis and work hard to earn his playing time. He could not have picked a better program to transfer to, and I expect Mark Few to turn him into another key piece on one of the best and most consistent non-Power 5 teams in the country.