West Virginia junior power forward Devin Williams will enter this year’s NBA draft, the school announced. The statement doesn’t make it entirely clear whether Williams intends to hire an agent right away, but sources told Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com that he plans to do so (Twitter link). That means he won’t be able to withdraw from the draft before the May 25th deadline and return to college ball. It’s a risky decision for the 6’9″ 21-year-old, since he’s just the 94th-best prospect in Chad Ford’s ESPN Insider rankings. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has him outside the top 100, simply listing him as the 35th-best junior.
Williams does his best work on the boards, having pulled down an impressive 9.5 in just 25.4 minutes per game this season, the top per-game rate in the Big 12. He averaged 13.3 points a night but isn’t a floor-stretcher at all, having missed the only 3-point attempt he took during his college career. He does have a solid midrange game, according to Ford, and he led the Big 12 in defensive rating this year, according to Sports Reference.
The stoutly built Williams helped the Mountaineers to a No. 6 ranking in the Associated Press poll at one point this year, but West Virginia’s season ended with a first-round upset loss to No. 14 seed Stephen F. Austin in the NCAA Tournament, despite 17 rebounds from Williams, one off his season high. Williams was coming off a career-high 31 points against Kansas in the Big 12 championship game. He steadily improved throughout his college career after finishing high school at No. 55 in the Recruiting Services Consensus Index.