Maryland Terrapins Jordan Williams Declares for NBA Draft
By Guest Blogger AlanZlot:
Maryland forward Jordan Williams declared for the NBA draft on Tuesday but has not hired an agent. This is more of an exploratory process for Williams who has until May 8 to make his final decision.
According to his father Leon Williams, who confirmed with NBADraft.net’s Rodney Halprin on Monday that, “Jordan is testing the waters… but nothing is official, he is considering it but no decision has been made on him staying in the draft.” (NBADraft.net)
The 6 feet 10 Williams, who was named to the all ACC rookie team followed up in his freshman season at College Park by being named to the All-ACC First team. Williams averaged 16.9 points and 11.6 rebounds per game in his sophomore campaign. His rebounds per game led the ACC this season.
Williams also became just the 10th ACC player since the 1996-97 season to average a double-double per game. Williams had 23 double-doubles this season setting a Maryland school record.
Although many are saying it is a 50-50 chance Williams will return to College Park, it is highly unlikely that Williams will actually enter the draft this season. Terps fans may have the impending NBA lockout to thank for Williams return.
NBA’s owners and players are worlds apart and are not close to agreeing on many issues involving a new collective bargaining agreement. The current deal expires June 30 and according to league sources, there is 99 percent chance the league is going to lock out the players.
The owners want a hard salary cap, a reduction in salaries, and a reduction of guaranteed money in a new collective bargaining agreement. How long a lockout lasts no one can be certain but UCLA’s head basketball coach Ben Howland told the LA Times on March-22 that he is advising his players accordingly.
Ben Bolch of the LA Times quoted Howland as saying, “I can tell you in the NBA, in my opinion, this is going to be a serious lockout, they will not be playing, in my opinion, next December and maybe even January. … You’re not even going to get paid next year for half the year.”
Former Maryland point guard Greivis Vasquez, who now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA, declared for the draft but did not hire an agent following his junior season at Maryland. Vasquez returned for his senior season at College park and was named a unanimous first-team All-ACC selection, and then was honored as the ACC Player of the Year.
Jordan Williams is expected to be the centerpiece for Terps coach Gary Williams as he tries to resurrect his program. For the first time since 1993, Maryland failed to qualify for post-season play. The Terps failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament and the NIT this season.
Having now missed the NCAA tournament in four of the past seven seasons and depending which side of the equation you are on, many see this season as just another reason to replace Gary Williams and look for a new coach.
However, Duke and North Carolina had years where they missed postseason play and the fact that Gary Williams has gone 17 years and did not miss either tournament speaks to his legacy. If Jordan Williams returns Coach Williams and the Terps may have a lot to look forward to next season.
The Terps have signed two good-looking guards to play at College Park next year. The first is Nick Faust. Faust is a shooting guard and a top 40 prospect (#38 according to ESPN) from Baltimore. Joining Faust is New Jersey native Sterling Gibbs.
Gibbs is a very promising point guard and is the brother of Pittsburgh Panthers guard Ashton Gibbs who also declared for the NBA draft on Tuesday.
No one knows for sure what Jordan Williams will ultimately decide. The right thing in my mind would be for Williams to return for his junior season. If Jordan Williams does enter the NBA draft, things may continue to get worse before they get better at College park.