Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Devin Williams struggling to break out of slump

Devin Williams and Jonathan Holton warming up before WVU took on Kansas State (Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

Devin Williams and Jonathan Holton warming up before WVU took on Kansas State
(Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–West Virginia University’s Devin Williams has been in a real funk of late.

The junior forward started the season on fire with five straight double-doubles. He led the Mountaineers in scoring most of the season.

And the night WVU knocked off the No.1 team in the country, Williams played a big role in that win. He scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Since the Kansas game, Williams hasn’t been much of a factor.

The 6-foot-9, 255-pounder has averaged 6.7 points and 5.7 rebounds. Not the kind of numbers Mountaineers fans are used to from Williams.

During Williams current slump, he has turned the ball over numerous times and been in foul trouble in three of WVU’s last four games.

The Cincinnati native had four turnovers against Texas Tech on Saturday and six of the Mountaineers’ 18 turnovers against Kansas State on Tuesday.

Williams’ lackluster stretch includes nine baskets, 13 turnovers, 14 fouls and countless minutes stationed closer to Bob Huggins than the lane.

What is going on with Williams? Is it mental lapses? Is he trying to hard?

“I’m not qualified to analyze his mental state,” head coach Bob Huggins said after the Kansas State win. “I am a ball coach. I’m not a shrink. From a basketball standpoint, Devin is rushing things. He is trying to make things happen that are not there. He is a great kid. He wants to be really good. He wants the team to be really good. He wants to help. When you force things, you don’t help. You hurt. We can’t continue to turn the ball over, the way he is turning the ball over.”

Devin Williams (41) looking to get open against Kansas State (Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

Devin Williams (41) looking to get open against Kansas State
(Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

Currently, Williams mistakes and lack of scoring isn’t hurting WVU. Senior forward Jonathan Holton has really stepped up his play of late. The Mountaineers are getting plenty of production from players like Jaysean PaigeTarik Phillip and Nathan Adrian.

But WVU will need Williams in the upcoming weeks. If the Mountaineers hope to make a run come tournament time, he will need to be on the court.

WVU needs Williams to grab rebounds and for his offensive production. Plus the Mountaineers need to cut back on the turnovers.

Huggins has said before he would like his team to be around 10 turnovers or less a game.

Whether it’s a mental issue with Williams or just the forward trying to do too much, WVU needs Williams back on his game.

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