MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The expectations awaiting West Virginia’s Devin Williams were high from the moment be became a consensus top-100 recruit, and they escalated when the Mountaineers learned they would be without two other frontcourt signees.

Though Williams has responded with a solid freshman season—compiling 9.6 points and 7.6 rebounds while starting all but one game—he hasn’t delivered the dominant performances that were unfairly projected.

“He’s top five in the league (in rebounding), which most people would be doing cartwheels for, but we need him to do more,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “We’ve put more on him.”

With the 6-foot-9 Elijah Macon and 6-7 Jonathan Holton forced to sit out this season, Williams essentially became WVU’s only interior scoring threat. His inability to finish against taller defenders has resulted in 42-percent field-goal shooting, and when combined with similar struggles at the foul line, Williams hasn’t given WVU the kind of low-post offense it needs to complement a roster heavy on jump shooters.

“We’re asking Devin to do a lot of things,” Huggins said. “We’re all sitting here complaining that Devin isn’t doing what (Kevin Jones) did when he was a senior, and the reality is KJ didn’t do that when he was a freshman.

“We’re expecting and demanding a lot from a first-year guy. We’re getting almost 10 and 7 from him and we need him to do more.”

In some instances Williams has pressured himself to post All-American numbers. After a 13-rebound effort in a narrow loss to Oklahoma State, he remarked that he should be getting 20 rebounds a game. Yet two nights later against Texas, he grabbed zero rebounds in 16 minutes, albeit while saddled with illness.

“It’s a physical league so you have to have physical play,” said the freshman, who suggests he’s learning the path to consistency. “Your mindset has to be to come out focused and get down there and brawl a little bit.”


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Comments

  • TIRED OF BS

    ol TW blah blah blah, just the fact that you feel you can determine how williams will be four years from now just show that you are talking out your arse because your head would have to know better, do you determine what type of career one of your students will have if they get an F in the 9th grade, smh

  • Mister man

    Mister Williams will be in the NBA.

    • tw eagle

      at this point in his development , the only way he " gets in" the nba is to buy a ticket . . .

  • tw eagle

    my observation of Williams . . . just the last game . . . after a few minutes in game time he starts dragging up the floor & not crossing the center line till the shot clock is 25 or less . . . maybe he has an injury ? avoids the lane on the D end of court , a no contact player , I guess . . . can't rebound from where he wants to deploy . . . last 5 minutes of game ( K-St bench cleared) , a third string C is being bullied by Williams . . . where was this aggression when it actually might have had an effect on the outcome of the game ?
    I can see three more years of 0 output from this kid , excepting the high school teams WVU plays to warm up a the beginning of the season . . . Noreen has little "measured " talent , but he's got the HEART to stick his nose in the fray and at least try to execute his responsibilities . . . until I see more consistent hard work against quality opponents , this kid is a "no heart" turkey . . .

    • wow

      Just where did you coach or play college ball? I think I know the answer, which makes this a bunch of useless garbage.

      • tw eagle

        you're posting about the column written by AT ? I thought it was a nice filler . . .
        one that opened a line of discussion on the progress of one of WVU's ( best&only ) young recruits coming straight to university . . .

    • Mister man

      Your observation is very important to us. We wait with wasted breath for your next one

      • tw eagle

        keep your eyes open , I do post regularly on the aspects of WVU sports that catch my attention . . . I'm not a PC moron , so when I see a problem , I lay it on thick . . .
        if you'll pay attention , there is always a thread of 'fix it' , instead of just rants about what I don't agree with . . . a teacher by gene & trade - a pundit by heart . . . I love this bulletin board . . . and if you pay close attention you'll notice my every word is moderated because the owner of this forum is not one of the people I hold in high regard . . .

    • Mister man

      You're funny.

      • tw eagle

        yes , thank you , I do have a well developed sense of humor . . . this observation was NOT however a venture into jokedom . . .

    • Aquarius

      One game observation and you conclude he has no heart.. ....are we to assume you maintain such standards in your personal life!! Wow...he's 18 and played all of 20 games or so in college.....he'll be fine as long as he doesn't take these boards to heart..

      • tw eagle

        like the rest of the WVU team , I have been observing season long . . . the K-St game for Williams was a water shed of evidence . . . his ineffectiveness in games I at first attributed to being a freshman and unused to the pace of the college game . . . the way his game changed when he was opposed by smaller , younger player says he's physically capable of playing with & against good talented players - he's just unwilling to put in the effort if he 's not be the "winner" in position or ball possession contests . . . therefore my "lack of heart" comment . . . PROVE ME WRONG , Williams . . . PLAY . . .

  • Master of One

    For being only 6-8, Devin Williams is a small "big". And he does good. But Huggins expects him to carry the load and it is too much to ask. He has no help whatsoever.

    WVU has no inside game and it shows...and they never will have one.

    In his 7th season Huggins has yet to recruit one (1) legitimate big man who can hold his own.

    And no, at 6-8 Devin Williams is not considered a true "big"...That would be 6-10 and bigger...

    Sorry...

  • big harv

    Good article..kevin will get better,,much better.I have been around long enough to see most of the great ones,,This kid has the makings to be one to remember..Big harv