Williams figuring out life in the low post

West Virginia freshman forward Devin Williams is working to better recognize double-teams in the low post.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With Eron Harris popping and slashing from the wing, Juwan Staten penetrating at will, and Remi Dibo and Nathan Adrian stretching their range on 3-pointers, West Virginia hasn’t channeled much offense through the low-post.

That could become more of an option, however, after freshman forward Devin Williams showed better awareness against Duquesne. He was 8-of-10 shooting from floor—with six of those baskets coming off entry passes in the halfcourt set—and no longer seemed intent on forcing the action inside against double-teams.

Coach Bob Huggins knows his squad will remain perimeter-oriented, but he doesn’t expect his wing players to fear dumping passes inside to the brawny, 6-foot-8 Williams.

“They know that we’ve got to score close some, and he’s very good at that,” Huggins said. “As we continue to grow I think they’re going to feel a whole lot more comfortable giving the ball to him.”

Williams was just 3-of-14 shooting in his first two college games, trying to score against enveloping defenders instead of passing out of double-teams.

“He has held on to it too long,” Huggins said. “(But against Duquesne) when they came to double him he got rid of it, which is what he needs to do.”

Said Williams of his bounce-back from a 1-of-8 shooting night at Virginia Tech: “I think I’ve found my focus as far as preparing for the game.”

Of course, learning to take good shots down low is only one facet of Williams’ game that needs improvement. He also needs to work on his 50-percent foul shooting (9-of-18).

Tipoff: 7 p.m. in Morgantown (Root Sports TV)
Record: The Eagles (2-1), picked ninth in the 11-team Southern Conference, whipped two Christian conference programs but also pushed Miami to overtime in an 81-80 road loss.
Coach: Former Virginia Tech and College of Charleston assistant Mark Byington, 36, was hired in April after Georgia Southern went 14-19 and dismissed coach Charlton Young, who had a four-year record of 43-84.
Style points: “It’s going to be all ball-screens, spread the floor, shoot a lot of 3s,” said Huggins. “Very guard-oriented. Just like we’ve been seeing.”
Top players: Jelani Hewitt averages 25 points per game, highlighted by 27 at Miami. “Hewitt’s really good at getting his own (shots) and he’s got great range,” Huggins said. “He’s made some shots from real deep. He’s obviously got the ball in his hands a lot more and he obviously has the green light a lot more.” … Senior guard Tre Bussey, who never averaged double figures previously, is pouring in 23 points while shooting at an absurd clip of 69 percent.
Line: West Virginia favored by -13
Prediction: WVU 79-74

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