What Kenny Williams’ Commitment Means to North Carolina
Kenny Williams isn’t the hero North Carolina wanted, or even deserved, but he’s the one the Tar Heels desperately needed.
Just five days after five-star recruit Brandon Ingram elected to take his talents to Duke, Williams announced via Twitter that he would play for Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels. Williams was previously committed to Virginia Commonwealth, but de-committed after the departure of Rams coach Shaka Smart.
Williams won’t be the star for North Carolina next year. He likely won’t start or see significant minutes early in the season. What Williams will bring, however, is consistent 3-point shooting. According to Scout, Williams is great at not only knocking down shots from deep, but creating his own looks as well.
Another reason Williams is such a huge deal? He’s most likely going to provide North Carolina more than a year’s worth of work. In a time where every commitment is major for the Tar Heels, Williams is the kind of player who won’t be a one-and-done, but will grow over three or four years, which already gives the Tar Heels a piece for the 2016-17 rebuild.
And, most importantly, Williams fills a huge need for the Tar Heels. The Tar Heels have hit 35% of their 3-pointers in the past two seasons, but 55% of those makes have come from Marcus Paige. While Justin Jackson stepped up and made some critical 3s in March (see: Virginia game), Joel Berry delivered in the second half of the season and Nate Britt showed signs of improvement (see: Syracuse game), North Carolina needed another sharpshooter outside of Paige. Williams can offer that for the Tar Heels, and when he’s on the floor, it will force defenses to cheat out toward the perimeter, creating space for Marcus Paige to drive or bigs such as Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks to work in the paint.
So, what North Carolina gets out of Kenny Williams is a player it desperately needed, even if he wasn’t its first choice. And while next year, he won’t be the top guy on opposing scouting reports, he will provide quality offense for years to come at North Carolina. And with the cloud of the NCAA hanging over Chapel Hill, the team will gladly take what it can get in that department.
Video and image courtesy of Courtside Films