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We had a nice feature on one of my favorite NC State Football players yesterday (link to Toney Baker), so it is only fair to turn some attention to one of my favorite NC State Basketball players, CJ Williams.
The Fayetteville Observer featured Williams in a lead story calling him the Pack’s ‘new leader’. I couldn’t agree more.
IMHO, Williams is the type of player just craving to play for a super talented team.
What in the world to I mean by ^this ludicrous statement?
I mean that CJ’s unselfishness and overall balance of skills on the court creates a situation where his effectiveness would be maximized by not having any scoring pressures placed on him.
I view CJ Williams as a potential Brian Howard. A potential Jeremy Hyatt (as a senior). A poor man’s Nate McMillan.
CJ Williams is the guy that the loose ball seems to find. He’s the guy who wants to guard the other team’s best player at crunch time. He’s the guy that will force the attitude on the team to listen to the coach. And, he’s the guy who will be the first to shake the other coach’s hand and represent the University in the most favorable light.
Two things are for certain as Williams enters his sophomore season in Raleigh driven to spark a Wolfpack resurgence.
First and foremost, he’ll be thrust into a leading role as the team’s starting shooting guard, assured of more consistent playing time after a freshman season in which his minutes fluctuated wildly. (Williams logged more than 15 minutes in 16 games yet did not play in five others.)
Secondly, the former Jack Britt High School standout is attacking Year 2 with newfound aplomb, confident he has expanded his game and feeling more comfortable as a vocal leader for the Pack.
I take a different view than the previous quote on one item — I’m not sure that CJ will be the starting shooting guard. CJ is clearly a ‘wing’ who can play the two or the three spot. If we have heard correctly, Coach Lowe has moved Farnold Degand to the shooting guard position in a move I applaud. So, it wouldn’t surprise me to see both Degand and Williams start the season on the wings with Javi Gonzalez and Julius Mays battling for the starting point guard position.
The ‘X-factor’ here is the potential emergence of Scott Wood, whom we have made no secret of our excitement. If Wood can truly emerge as a viable option as the wing forward in his freshman year, then I see Williams moving to a pure two position until Lorenzo Brown arrives next year.
Williams’ abilities to score from the perimeter will factor into the equation. Equally important may be his development as a young leader.
Lowe still lauds the poise Williams showed a year ago.
“The one word for C.J. is steady,” he said. “Even though he was just a freshman, he always seemed to be in the right place. He didn’t take a lot of bad shots. He knew what we were doing all the time.”
Lowe now wants his sophomore shooting guard to showcase his heightened confidence to not only become a reliable playmaker but an energizing force for the whole team.