Malik William could contribute right away at Clemson

Dec 21, 2016; Columbia, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers players huddle before the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the first half at Colonial Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 21, 2016; Columbia, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers players huddle before the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the first half at Colonial Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports /

Clemson basketball finished the season with a shocking loss to Oakland in the NIT and will lose seniors Jaron Blossomgame, Sidy Djitte and Avry Holmes. So who are the newcomers slated to help replace their production? 

We will take a look at each of the four newcomers that coach Brad Brownell signed for 2017-18 in the coming weeks.

 The First Academy(FL) forward Malik William will be one to watch in the battle to replace front court players Djitte and Blossomgame. William stands 6 foot 7 and weighs 220 pounds and will have a chance to be the backup power forward for the Tigers next season.

At The First Academy, he played center and shared the spotlight with teammates Chaundee Brown, a Wake Forest signee, Greg Summers, and Elijah Jordan, a New Hampshire signee. The First Academy finished the season 26-2 and had their 22-game winning streak broken in a playoff loss to Seffner Christian.

With Brown (24.4) and Summers (14.6) leading the team in scoring, William used his 7-foot-2 inch wingspan to corral eleven rebounds and block 4.6 shots per game. Not a prolific scorer by any means, his average of 11 points complimented his teammates, and so did his five assists a game.

His ability to grab defensive rebounds and make outlet passes to start fast breaks or find an open teammate streaking to the basket is Kevin Love-esque. His passing skills are so good that Orlando Sentinel staff writer Buddy Collings had this to say about William, “Might be the best passing big man in Central Florida history.”

William’s all-around game made him the team leader in rebounds and blocks, and a close second in assists behind point guard Elijah Jordan(5.3). As far as Central Florida rankings, he finished seventh in assists, and second in rebounds and blocks. He also joined Brown on the All-Central Florida first team.

His team and area rankings speak for themselves, but numbers can really put William’s game in perspective. Throughout his career at Dr.Phillips High(2013-2015), The First Academy(2016-17) and in AAU, he has been able to have triple doubles with the combinations of points, rebounds, blocks, and assists. Here are some notable stat lines from his career.

11 points, 12 rebounds, 11 blocks(2013)

17 points, 11 rebounds, 12 blocks(2014)

36 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists(2015)

23 points, 22 rebounds(2015)

14 points, 11 rebounds, 20 blocks(2015)AAU

Here are stats from this past season:

30 points, 15 rebounds, 3 blocks, 9 assists

5 points, 14 rebounds, 16 blocks, 7 assists

18 points, 14 rebounds, 10 blocks

10 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists

15 rebounds, 11 blocks, 8 assists

11 rebounds, 10 blocks, 6 assists

If I had to compare William to a current ACC player, I would select Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson. Colson has a 7 foot 2 wingspan, and he rebounds and blocks shots well for an undersized power forward. Colson also has a nice touch from behind the arc and so does William.

William will need to gain weight and work on his post game to reach the accomplishments of Colson. Colson is a junior and after averaging only five points as a freshman, he raised his scoring from 11 as a sophomore to 17 and grabbed 10 rebounds this season. The Irish forward is only 6’5, so William is taller and he may not be finished growing, because his dad is a seven footer.

The Clemson coaches will be happy to see him develop into what Colson is today but in the meantime, his shot blocking and rebounding could help immediately, because those two areas were inadequate at times last season.

Next: 3 best options at RB outside of Zamir White in the 2018 recruiting class

Malik William has the skills to contribute next season, and he is looking forward to being a Clemson Tiger.