Alondes Williams | Wake Forest

5Y-Sr. | Combo Guard | 6’5” | 205 lbs. | 6/19/1999

20.4 PTS, 1.5 OREB, 5.2 DREB, 5.1  AST, 1.3 STL, 0.4 BLK, 2.7 TOV, 2.9 PF, 62.4 TS%

Alondes Williams, a JUCO product (Triton College) who spent the past two years at Oklahoma, has been turning heads for Wake Forest this season with several dominant performances. With Steve Forbes handing him the keys to the Demon Deacons’ offense, Williams has thrived and never looked back. His power and athleticism absolutely pop with some jaw-dropping dunks, but what really hits home for me is his level of awareness and anticipation as a primary creator against high-caliber ACC competition.

Alondes Williams_report_card

Quick In-Person Takeaways

I was able to get an up close look at Williams on January 8th and will see him again toward the end of the month. In what was inevitably a different gameplan for him individually and Wake Forest on the whole against our zone, Williams excelled yet again as Wake’s point guard and lead creator.

While listed at 6’5”, I’m not entirely convinced of that figure. However, it is undeniable that he plays at, or above, that size. His jacked, sturdy frame and explosiveness allow him to play much larger on the ball and even on the boards, where he commonly impacts the game as a putback artist.

Paints Touches & Rim Pressure

Meaningful paint touches are one of the primary keys to driving winning basketball and Alondes Williams provides that in spades. What has propelled him into legitimate NBA Draft consideration is the fact that he is now getting to the rim more frequently and converting with better consistency.

In these two clips, Williams gets the best of Isaiah Wong, an NBA-caliber athlete, with ease. First, he gets downhill quickly, explodes off two feet, and maintains his balance after taking the contact. In this instance, all Wong can do is jump with him and hope for a miss. Williams then showcases his scoring craft as he blows by Wong in an ISO situation before finishing around a supreme shot blocker in Anthony Walker.

 

Passing Ability Stems from OTD Prowess

 

Among all qualifying NCAA guards, Williams ranks in the 94th percentile in assist rate (32 AST%) while doing so on 96th percentile usage rate (28 USG%). This immense jump in efficiency and volume is what I and many others have attributed to Williams’ sharp-rising NBA Draft stock. Williams is creating these chances at an elite level from various scenarios including pick-and-rolls, post-ups, and hand-offs. This playmaking versatility makes it quite difficult for opponents to defend Wake as he puts constant pressure on the defense and a high quality look is consistently only one late tag or rotation away.

As shown earlier, Williams lives in the paint and his ability to create for others stems from his juice off the bounce. Outside of the usual straight line drives, he has an uncanny amount of passing counters to create from the spaces he exploits: step throughs, decelerations into jump passes, hang-and-dumps to dunkers, one and two handed skips (both stationary and live dribble), etc.

Below, we can see how his presence alone creates shots for Wake Forest. In the first clip, a simple drop crossover after a screen draws all five Miami defenders into the paint. From here it becomes a routine kick pass to the corner. The ease and smoothness of the move is is really enticing, to say the least. Next, he goes by a very good athlete in Kam McGusty, draws the rim-protector who jumps at his takeoff, and then dumps it with his left hand to his big for the dunk. Advanced creation made simple.

These two clips alone don’t do Williams’ passing ability justice. His passing creativity and ability to anticipate open spaces before its development is what makes him so valuable at this point in time. Some plays leave you asking:

  • How exactly did he find and exploit that space?

  • Is this good or bad process?

  • Is this translatable and repeatable at the next level?

Williams’ creation off the bounce seems really special at times – beyond that of being simply a high-caliber college creator, but one with a chance at the next level. He makes extremely difficult plays look routine.

Defensive Thoughts

From what I’ve seen so far, Williams’ defense has been a mixed bag – some encouraging highs and some disappointing moments. There are glimpses of real defensive prowess driven by his athleticism and positional strength that give me some hope he’ll be able to hang with NBA ones and twos. However, there are moments where he seems to disengage and offer little to no resistance on the perimeter. Below are three consecutive possessions in crunch time from Wake’s recent loss to Miami, all of which Williams’ shaky point-of-attack defense resulted in giving up critical buckets.

The first and third clips are what worry me the most. Wong and Moore blow by Williams with very little resistance due to Williams’ poor positioning. These kind of lapses simply can’t happen, especially considering time and score.

 

Despite these notable breakdowns, I am open to giving him some benefit of the doubt. Tasked with bearing a very significant offensive workload well beyond anything he was ever asked at Oklahoma, Williams has delivered beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. Is the massive offensive burden driving some of his defensive lapses and lack of intensity/engagement? Perhaps. This is somewhat excusable for now, but in what would certainly amount to a smaller role at the next level, Williams will need to ensure to be fully locked in and leverage his physical gifts to achieve his defensive potential.

Additional Notes

  • His 3PT shooting has increased dramatically this year

    • 21-84 at Oklahoma

    • 21-62 so far in 2021-22 

    • Doesn’t have any noticeable red flags, but not entirely sold on it… is this sustainable?

 
  • Shot mechanics are a bit on the slower side but his OTD stuff works (90th percentile)
    • A legit “jump” shooter who truly elevates off the ground

    • May explain why he is elite OTD and in the midrange as it forces him to generate energy through his elevation into shot (less dramatic on C&S)

    • This midrange equity is really valuable for an offensive-oriented combo guard in the modern NBA 

  • He is an outrageous offensive rebounder as a guard, currently averaging 1.5 per game

Final Thoughts 

Alondes Williams is a transfer portal dream for a head coach. Following relatively low usage and impact at Oklahoma, which seems quite strange now, he has drastically outperformed expectations. A bright future seemingly lies ahead for Williams in professional basketball and he will likely warrant a real crack at the NBA. Williams recently made his debut in our Weighted Consensus Big Board, should be in consideration for the G League Elite Camp and/or NBA Draft Combine, and will certainly be invited to his fair share of team workouts throughout the pre-draft process.

Strengths (Immediate Value)

  • Athletic traits that allow him to create unique chances in scoring + creation situations

  • Ability to handle the ball and create looks with his size

    • Can be used as a primary or secondary slasher

  • Gets to the rim at will against major collegiate competition and has shown that he can score in a plethora of ways 

    • Bodes well for the assumption that he can continue this at some rate against more athletic defenders 

  • Elite rebounder on both ends

    • 10th in rebounds per game (6.7) amongst DI guards

Areas to Improve (Swing Factors)

  • Shooting consistency

    • Major statistical jump this year – interested in following his development over the next few seasons

  • Point-of-attack defense

    • Has shown flashes of leveraging quickness and frame to thwart drives, but has periods of disengagement


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