A member of the All-WCC team, Jalen Williams had a strong junior breakout season. On the year, Williams averaged 18 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.5 BPG, and 2.1 TOPG on shooting splits of 51/40/81. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Jalen Williams
Wingspan/ standing reach: 7’2 ¼ / 8’9 ½
Hand size: 9 ½
Pre-Draft team: Santa Clara
Tools: Ambidexterity, frame, ball-handling , athleticism
- Comfortable with both hands
- Filthy hesitation moves
- High release on his jumper
- Slick vision and precise passing ability
- Good cutter
- Good athlete
- Capable spot up shooter
- Can finish in a variety of ways with both hands
- Good off-ball defense
- Can be a bit slow against drives, especially defending high
- Doesn’t explode past defenders
- Not much of a one-foot leaper, best off of two feet
- Needs to refine P&R defense
- Can be inconsistent in shooting over defenders from 3
Jalen Williams is a prototypical wing, standing at a near ideal 6’6 frame with a monster 7’2 wingspan, good athleticism, passing ability, and projectable shooting. His biggest potential limiters that can be a risk in translating from the West Coast Conference to the NBA are his shooting consistency over defenders from off the dribble, lack of explosion on drives, and being only a mild defender. Luckily, Williams can counter his inconsistency in shooting over defenders with ambidexterity, making him entirely unpredictable to defend, particularly in quick offense. A worst case scenario in the NBA lies in defenses being able to limit him in getting downhill in the half-court, which could limit his overall scoring ability. Defensively, with long arms, instincts as an off-ball defender and overall good athleticism make him projectable, even if his on-ball defense against drives is underwhelming.
The biggest overall risk in Williams’ game is the mediocre competition plus highly inefficient freshman and sophomore seasons marking his junior year breakout a case of fools gold, and the production not translating to the NBA. His skill-set makes it easy to believe the growth was organic, but a scenario where Williams’ explosion was a bit misleading is possible, as high usage juniors normally progress without a major skill breakout.
Similar to: Gordon Hayward
Projected draft range: 10-22
Expected role: Versatile forward that can play both on-ball and off-ball as a 3 level scorer.
Unplayable if: Highly unlikely he becomes unplayable, but if Williams is a poor shooter that doesn’t scale up, the rest of his game will be minimized. A worst case scenario lies in his competition level not scaling up to the NBA.
Exceeds expectations if: Shot creation for perimeter shots becomes more routine and he becomes more consistent in scoring over defenders on jumpers. A big plus for him would be if his defense holds up in the NBA.