Patrick Williams could be FSU’s next great scorer

Head coach Leonard Hamilton has had a lot of good scorers come through his program in recent years. In the past five years, guys like Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Aaron Thomas, Malik Beasley, Dwayne Bacon, and Phil Cofer (when healthy) would fit that bill. And to a lesser extent, Jonathan Isaac (because he wasn’t aggressive enough), Braian Angola (as a senior), and Terance Mann. Players who can go get the team a bucket when they need it the most, XRM’s ridiculous stretch of 30 points in 4:30 against Miami comes to mind, and who step up when the game is on the line.

The reality is, FSU has recruited at a higher level than ever before over the past few seasons. Big time players make big-time plays. Well, another big-time player is headed to Tallahassee to try to help offset the graduations of Mann, Cofer, Christ Koumadje, PJ Savoy, and David Nichols. Enter consensus four-star (five-star on Rivals) forward Patrick Williams. The North Carolina native is a pure-scorer with a mix of defensive intensity. Think Dwayne Bacon but with a willingness to play defense. Funny thing is, he wears #4 too.

Williams averaged 22.1 points, 9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.9 steals, and 2.8 blocks per game as a senior. To put it lightly, he was everywhere on the court. Williams has a multi-faceted offensive game but his sweet spot is around the paint where he looks to use an array of floaters, baseline fadeaways, and powerful dunks to get his points. He can also shoot it from deep. The 6-foot-7 forward knocked down 44% of his triples in 2018 (53/121) and never shot below 40% from deep during his high school while developing into a 76% free-throw shooter. Williams has a nice touch from mid-range and shows the awareness to pick his own spots, not forcing much of his offense. His form is easily repeatable and should only continue to get more consistent as he gets a chance to work with the coaching staff.

Defensively, he’s already very skilled for a high school player and he’ll get even better with the commitment Hamilton has his players make to defense. One thing that stood out to me is when he rolls with a screener to the basket he has the IQ to use his hands to stop the ball handler from being able to pass inside. Doesn’t sound like much but having those little intangibles at 18 just means he’s savvy and knows the game. Williams is excellent at reading opposing offenses and shooting passing lanes for steals. He also knows how to use his body and leverage defensively.

Williams is coming into FSU with a body that’s ready for the college game. He’ll be able to match up physically with some of the best players in college basketball and that’ll help him get on the floor, if not start, early in his career. If his ability to score translates as it should, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him challenge Mfiondu Kabengele as the teams leading scorer.

Florida State fans, get ready for a show and buy your tickets early. Williams isn’t the kind of player that’ll be in Tallahassee for very long. Probably two seasons max.

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