Team: North Carolina
Height/Weight: 6’4, 185 lbs.
The Virginia native is a solid prototypical ‘3 & D’ player with the potential to become a solid starter in the NBA. Kenny is an elite shooter when set and has one of the smoothest releases in the country. He’s got solid balance that helps him lift cleanly and follow through on his shot. His numbers don’t reflect it, but his shooting when he is hot is some of the best in the country.
Williams has played some of the best defense over the past three seasons on opposing guards (maybe outside of former teammate Theo Pinson). He has good length and is a very smart defender and when he gets locked in, he can lock anyone down.
Williams will not overcommit on defense, but he also is very vocal while working with freshman guard Coby White. That is a testament to his leadership as a senior as he’s shaping this Carolina team.
The most impressive adjustment that the guard has shown from last season to this season is definitely his slashing ability. Williams was very content with relying on his shot in the past. Williams made it so predictable that he was going to shoot that a lot of players would close out hard and make it a lot more tougher for him to convert the shot. He has shown his ability to read and take advantage of defenses and slash to the bucket with a solid pump fake.
Williams has the ability to become a better defender and shooter as crazy as it sounds. He will have more open court at the next level and will be able to run off screens and score. He has a similar style to Wayne Ellington with his combo guard skills and elite shooting. He can develop more success in the pick-and-roll with his high IQ.
Kenny Williams is an underdeveloped dribbler when creating space for himself. Williams is becoming more assertive and creative, but he has a long way to go before he will be known as a well-known shot creator. He must find two go-to moves to be able to create space so he can get to his spots and create a distraction for his teammates. The more elite his shot-creating becomes, the more his playmaking can grow.
Williams is an average athlete and struggles to defend stronger players at the rim. His defensive IQ is elite, but sometimes he can be too passive and not reach for the ball when he is capable of stealing the ball with his prowess. Williams has had times on defense where he has played flawless position, but he overthinks the play and anticipates too early.
Kenny Williams when he is HOT is an unbelievable shooter; but with this amazing skill there are times when he can go ICE COLD. When this happens, his effectiveness on the court tends to disintegrate. Williams has bad slumps that can last for weeks, months, and is something he must improve on before he goes to the next level.
The Virginia native does not shy away from contact, but he could definitely work to become a better rebounder. With his elite IQ, if he becomes a reliable rebounder he could be responsible for a lot of transition buckets.
A player like Williams reminds you of the typical steal in the NBA draft. He really needs to show a greater ability on the offensive end before we can definitively say that he deserves to be drafted. He must find consistency with his shot and improve his slashing ability. If he does get drafted, it is because of his defensive prowess with the confidence that he can turn his offensive game around and make that jumper a bit more reliable. For now, he’s probably on the outside looking in, but keep an eye on Kenny Williams going forward.