College basketball season is approaching, and with that the Blue Zone gives you a breakdown of the 2020-2021 women's basketball squad. Be sure to check out the previous previews: Vanessa de Jesus, Uchenna Nwoke, Jiselle Havas, Sara Anastasieska, Jada Claude, Jaida Patrick, Onome Akinbode-James and Miela Goodchild.
Last year’s statline: 7.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.7 APG
Game breakdown: Jade Williams is a reliable center who has the potential to be an impact player. She finished last season in a tie for third with Miela Goodchild in points on the team behind Haley Gorecki and Leaonna Odom and was second in field goal percentage at 53 percent behind Odom. She has a good shot from close range, and her stature makes it easy for her sink jumpers when given the ball. She plays her best game in the paint where she sees the court well and is good at finding the right spot to receive passes from her teammates on the outside.
Her defensive game, while not bad, isn’t great. While she was second on the team in blocks per game and third in defensive rebounds per game, that’s pretty much where her defensive game stops. She often falls back on her exceptional height instead of making the more aggressive, more effective play.
Her performance last season was somewhat of a dip from her sophomore season. While her overall effectiveness per play improved, her rebounding numbers dipped while she committed more turnovers. This could be due to her often playing at the same time as Onome Akinbode-James, another big who she never really found chemistry with, instead often stepping on each other’s toes positionally.
Williams had her best game against Miami last season where she posted 16 points, shot 70 percent and scored a somewhat uncharacteristic three-pointer.
Role on the team: Williams’ role on the team is going to come down a lot to the starting lineup, on which she will presumably have a spot, that head coach Kara Lawson puts together. This being Lawson’s first season, she might decide to shake up last year’s lineup a bit, in which case Williams could find herself as a true five where she’s most comfortable. However, if the lineup looks something like last season with two centers on the court, Williams might be forced into more of a power or stretch forward role. In either case, with the loss of Gorecki and Odom, the team will be look for Williams to pick up some of the offensive slack and hopefully bring a more aggressive game to the court.
Projected stats: 9.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.5 APG, 30.0 MPG
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