One of two Ohio State recruits in the 2013 class, redshirt freshman guard Kam Williams is still a relative unknown to the average Buckeye hoops fan. An explosive 6-foot-2 guard, Williams, a native of Baltimore, looks to make a splash in the Big Ten scene in his first taste of big-time college basketball. With the departures of Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. opening holes in the back court, senior Shannon Scott is expected to resume the starting point guard position, Williams and freshman D'Angelo Russell have been battling for the other off guard position. What can we expect from Williams this season? Let's take a look.
A Look Back
Redshirting the 2013-14 season, Williams used his year away from game action to improve on multiple areas of his game. Adding some muscle to his 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame, Williams is an athletic shot-maker that tore up the EYBL in 2012, leading the prestigious AAU league in scoring at 22.2 points per game for Baltimore Elite. As the Buckeye backcourt is undergoing a makeover this season, Williams has a chance to get on the floor early as the shooting guard spot remains up for grabs at the moment.
Outlook for 2014-15
As Ohio State's shooting guard position remains open, Williams, a pure scorer, has been productive up to this point for the Buckeyes. An explosive combo-guard that reminds me a bit of Cleveland East Tech guard Markell Johnson, Williams is a guard that can score on multiple levels, as he is skilled enough to consistently hit from the perimeter, while athletic enough to take defenders off the dribble and score at the rim. With the freshman Russell's ability to play either guard spot, it is more than reasonable to think that Williams could play meaningful minutes at two guard position, as Russell can ease the load off Scott as the primary ball-handler. While coach Thad Matta is known for operating with eight or nine man rotations, the talent and the depth that the Buckeyes have this season will allow for Ohio State's many guards and wings to see time on the floor in 2014-15.
Best Case Scenario
Williams wins the starting two-guard spot, and brings his scoring ability to an Ohio State starting lineup that struggled to put points on the board a season ago. Shooting a 48 percent clip from the three-point line during that monster EYBL season two years ago, Williams has proven to be a talented shot-maker that can bring offensive versatility at the off guard position. With talented guards in Scott, Russell and Williams, Ohio State should be able to produce offense with its guards at a more efficient rate than in years' past.
Worst Case Scenario
Russell wins the starting off guard spot and Williams struggles to produce off the bench. In whichever role Williams takes over this season, Ohio State will rely on his ability to put the ball in the basket, and the worst case scenario would be for the redshirt freshman to not utilize his greatest strength.