Second Florida State Player Declares for NBA Draft: Where Is He Projected to Be Taken?
Florida State Freshman Patrick Williams announced today that he will be joining Devin Vassell in declaring for the NBA draft. As opposed to Vassell's stunning rise up the draft boards since committing to FSU, Williams' was much more foreseeable.
Williams came in touted as coach Leonard Hamilton's first consensus 5-star prospect since Jonathan Isaac and fulfilled those lofty expectations despite never starting a game. Fans could see from the first game that this was a special player based on his raw athleticism, and he backed it up with solid defensive instincts, a jumper with range out to 18 feet, and touch at the free throw line.
Although nominally a backup that garnered the ACC media's vote for "Sixth Man of the Year", he actually played the fourth most minutes on the team. In fact, after his brief two game injury stint for the Notre Dame and Virginia games, he played more minutes than his teammate than plays a similar position, Raiquan Gray. He seemed poised to break out in a big way during the post-season tournaments.
Some highlight games of his career were a 14 point, 9 rebound game against North Carolina (on 4 field goal attempts and 6 free throw attempts) and a two game stretch against Syracuse and Pittsburgh three games later where he scored 33 points on 23 field attempts and 3 free throw attempts plus 6 offensive rebounds and 6 defensive rebounds.
NBA Draft Prospects
Look for Williams to be taken in the first round of the NBA draft starting around pick 20. Mock drafts from the Athletic, ESPN, and Bleacher Report all have him in this range. He is more of a "scout's prospect" than a "number's prospect", as it is athleticism and film that jumps out rather than his numbers.
As of the time of writing's recruiting situation, Williams may be a harder player to replace than Vassell. Having a player like Raiquan Gray -- who is less athletic but a better overall defender -- helps, but he needs to take a large step forward in his consistency to replace Williams, but it's unlikely that he will ever be as explosive of a scorer and rebounder as Williams.
Coach Hamilton's number one positional recruiting target will probably be this position, the "big wing/small-ball 5", probably with a grad transfer.