This is the third part in a six part series that dives into the strengths and weaknesses of all six members of Duke’s 2020 freshman class. In previous breakdowns I took a closer look at Jaemyn Brakefield and Jeremy Roach. In this deep dive I will be taking a closer look at five star center Mark Williams.
When you watch Mark Williams play, the thing that you notice right off the bat is how much he affects the game defensively. He’s an elite shot blocker, and he uses his length to disrupt passes as well. He’s long, and athletic. In addition, he has a high level second jump which allows him to dominate the game on the defensive end. Offensively, Williams is less polished, but he runs the floor hard, can pass pretty well, and is a good finisher inside. In this clip, Williams showcases his elite shot blocking ability and second jump.
Again, in this clip, Williams wreaks havoc on the defensive end. He uses his length to steal a pass against Montverde Academy.
Here’s a clip that shows a little bit of what Mark Williams can do offensively. As a freshman at Duke, Williams likely won’t be counted on to have a huge role offensively. He’ll likely just be counted on as a finisher and as a lob threat. Here’s an example of his finishing ability on an alley oop dunk.
An element of Williams game that is unpolished, but could take his game to the next level is his jump shooting. However, He is rapidly improving as a shooter, and hitting mid range shots on a consistent basis will give Duke better floor spacing, and Williams an increased role offensively. In this clip, Williams knocks down an open catch and shoot three.
As talented as Williams is, he’s still a little bit raw. He’s not very polished offensively, with limited post moves, and an inconsistent shot. Also, he’s still quite thin which reduces his impact in a couple facets. First, it limits him as a rebounder. Against Montverde’s Day’Ron Sharpe, Williams struggled at times on the glass. Here’s an example:
Second, it limits him as a post defender. Against stronger post players, Williams may struggle a bit defensively.
All in all, Williams is an elite rim protector with high upside. He’ll be extremely impactful on that end while at Duke, and should continue his rapid improvement on the offensive end as well. I expect Williams to be at Duke for two years, however it wouldn’t be too much of a shock if he left after one. He has been called a “sneaky one and done candidate”, so he certainly has the talent to be a one and done.
That wraps up this Duke freshman breakdown, next up is Jalen Johnson.
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