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Player Profile: Terrance Williams could play an important role this season

The sophomore should take a step forward this year.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament - Second Round Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

In terms of expectations for individual players in the 2021-22 season for the Michigan Wolverines’ men’s basketball team, Terrance Williams probably has the greatest variance of any player expected to get minutes on the roster.

There is a world where Caleb Houstan, Brandon Johns Jr. and Moussa Diabate shine and limit Williams’ opportunities to get playing time. There is also a world where he is one of the first players off the bench who can be relied upon on both ends in clutch situations.

Let’s take a look back at the sophomore’s playing career so far and break down his outlook for the upcoming season.

The story so far

In the 2020 class, Williams was ranked as the 16th power forward and one of the best players to come from the Washington D.C. area.

In high school, Williams was lauded as a stretch four and proved to be a reliable scorer who could get buckets in the post and from midrange, while also scoring from deep on a smooth three-point jumper.

In his freshman season at Michigan, due to having to learn multiple positions and being behind Johns Jr., Hunter Dickinson and Austin Davis on the depth chart, Williams only got to play about 7.5 minutes per game in 2-3 minute bursts. While he didn’t get much of a chance to get comfortable on the court, he made the most of the few minutes he had.

Though he’s a smidge undersized for a post at 6-foot-7, Williams proved he can bang in the post and hold his own on defense. He showcased great chemistry with Dickinson, his former AAU teammate.

Albeit a small sample size, he may be Michigan’s best passer in the frontcourt based on his vision in the high post and unselfishness on offense.

Outlook for 2021-22

Dickinson was complementary of his former AAU teammate at Michigan’s media day last week, as the star big man who has known him for a while has clearly seen his teammate’s game grow this offseason.

“This is the best I’ve seen T-Will in his career,” Dickinson said “…You know what you’re gonna get out of him and he’s not gonna mess up too much. Him and Eli (Brooks) are similar in that way. For us, I think he’ll be able to help us out a lot this year because of his versatility.”

Williams also mentioned versatility, saying he’s been practicing at the 3, 4 and 5 for the Wolverines, and he expects to help replace the scoring Michigan lost with the departure of Franz Wagner, Isaiah Livers, Chaundee Brown and Mike Smith.

The DMV native has also been relentlessly focusing on his jump shot this offseason, as through repetition, he believes his shot has gone in more reliably and he’s gained more confidence to let it fly.

Speaking of confidence, that is the biggest thing I want to see out of Williams this season. He didn’t get much confidence last year from playing in those spot minutes and spending the majority of games on the bench. I would think he is one of the first players off the bench this season, thanks to his stellar defense and being able to play multiple positions.

Williams averaged 4.9 points and 2.3 rebound per game on 35.9% shooting from the field (going 1-for-14 on threes brings that number down quite a bit) and 55.0% shooting on free throws. As his minutes gradually improve, I think averaging around 7-8 points and four boards a game is realistic. His minutes going up would correlate with his jumper going in more reliably, especially from three.

He is a talented two-way player who can be a key piece for the Wolverines this season. If Williams’ jumper hits more often and he can adjust to playing more minutes at the 3, he should see a heavy minutes increase and will be counted on in big moments for Michigan.