BOZICH | Troy Williams: Drafted by the NBA or back at Indiana? F - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Troy Williams: Drafted by the NBA or back at Indiana? Fran Fraschilla speaks

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Troy Williams will participate in the NBA Draft combined in Chicago. (Jamie Owens photo.) Troy Williams will participate in the NBA Draft combined in Chicago. (Jamie Owens photo.)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – In my third and final look at the local prospects scheduled to perform at the NBA Draft combine in Chicago this weekend, ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla discussed Troy Williams, the junior forward from Indiana.

Some mock drafts have Williams projected as a second-round pick. Other forecast that Williams will not be selected.

Listed at 6 feet 7,Williams will have to prove he can make enough shots to play small forward or handle the ball without a flurry of turnovers to play in the backcourt.

I asked Fraschilla where he expects Williams to be taken or if he believes Williams will return to IU to play his senior season for Tom Crean.

As I did with my stories on Chinanu Onuaku of Louisville and the four University of Kentucky players in Chicago, I simply let Fraschilla speak as if he was talking to his ESPN audience. He’s one of the best in projecting the NBA Draft.

Fraschilla, unplugged:

“Troy is interesting. He’s got NBA athleticism. And he’s been at a place where he’s been coached to play hard.

“He is a smart player, which probably sounds a little crazy given the fact that sometimes he gets out of control at times. But he’ll surprise teams by how good of a basketball IQ that he has as far as where to be on the court and how well he’ll know the offense.

“There’s a chance he could be a terrific defender because of his length and athleticism and the fact that he’s been coached hard.

“The biggest thing for him is being able to improve the jump shot so that’s he’s not a liability. If the jump shot improves and all the things that he does well translate to the NBA, like his length and his athleticism and his intensity level, especially on the defensive level, it will serve him well.

“But right now I think you’re looking at a second-round pick, anywhere from 35-to-60. That’s what he is.

“(The problem with his shot is) shot form. He’s worked hard on it. High-arching shots kill your accuracy because the ball travels further. It’s common sense. It’s not optimal.

“There are days in practice when you watch him and the ball really goes in. He’s gotten better.

“I’ll tell you this: The NBA game actually facilitates his kind of game because the court is so much more wide open in the NBA. It really is.

“Will he be out of control at times? Absolutely. But what has been a glaring weakness in decision-making in terms of driving the ball into three people isn’t going to be as big of a problem in the league because of the spacing and how open the court is.

“Here’s the problem: Now you’ve got to finish over 7-foot guys. You’re going to have people backing off you, too, because nobody’s going to trust that you’re going to make enough jump shots to hurt them.

“He has to be an Energizer Bunny. He has to make himself into a defensive specialist. He has to be able to cut down on the silly mistakes. He has to show that there is a chance that his jump shot can continue to progress.

“Other than Ben Simmons (of LSU), he’s probably as good as anybody in the country at ripping (defensive rebounding) and going. Tom (Crean, the IU coach) gave him the green light to do that, and I think it will serve him well at the next level.

“But I think initially the next level for him is going to be the D-League, even though I did see stretches of major improvement from him.”

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