Senior forward Jaylin Williams is now entering his fourth year for the Tigers and has a chance to have his most important role yet in the upcoming 2022-2023 season.
Williams averaged 10.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in a starting role in his sophomore season but took a very important bench role behind projected number one overall pick Jabari Smith Jr. in his Junior year, where his only averaged 5.6 points and 2.7 rebound per game. However, the 6-foot-8 forward looks to take on his biggest role and more leadership his senior season.
Biggest Strength: Versatility
Williams is one of the most versatile players Bruce Pearl has ever gotten to Auburn. Williams is very good on the defensive end and is long and tall enough to guard the forward and center spots but is also quick and lateral enough to guard smaller and faster guards. There is no mismatch when it comes to Williams on the defensive end.
At Williams’s height and length, he can do such much to impact the game on the offensive end as well. His three-point shot has gotten better and better at his time at Auburn and we hope to see that improve even more. He’s very refined in the post and can make moves on bigger and slower guys because of his quickness. Williams is also a very smart passer.
It’s very easy to tell when you watch Williams play that his basketball IQ is extremely high. Williams can also handle the ball well for a guy his size and length, so he could relieve pressure off of the guards especially during pressing situations in the backcourt.
What they need to improve on: Consistency
Among most if not all of the returning guys on this year’s team, Williams needs to work on bringing what he does best every time on the hardwood. Through Williams’s three different roles in his three different seasons, we have seen some very good highs and some really low lows.
It’s very special to live up to a certain standard once everyone knows what he is capable on the court but if Williams could be the basketball player Auburn fans know he can be, then he could be even more special.
Best Moment from 2021: NCAA Tournament Games
Most Auburn fans don’t want to remember and relive the struggles in the NCAA tournament; However, I think the two games played were the start of the momentum building for Williams in 2022. Williams combined for 20 points in those two games and went 4-5 from the three-point range.
He only played a combined 24 minutes after getting elbowed by Walker Kessler and his teeth knocked out against Jacksonville State, but Williams came back against Miami and was one of Auburn’s best players in that game.
Expectations for 2022: Team Leader
“I expect Jaylin to have a dominant role next year, and he’s ready,” Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl noted after Auburn’s loss against Miami in the NCAA Tournament. “He took one for the team this year. He competed with Jabari, but Jabari was the best player on the floor every single night. “
Williams has a chance to have the best years of his career in the most important and relied on role he has had in 2022. Williams has a bunch of pieces already coming back around him and newcomers as well. I would expect things to be built around Williams as much as possible this upcoming season.
I’m super excited and super pumped to watch Williams compete at his highest level yet next year and truly think he could be an All-SEC type of forward.
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