Trevion Williams finished the year as an honorable mention Big Ten player after a season where he showed off his all around game.
He averaged 11.5 ppg, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game.
He is one of the few known quantities on a Purdue team that will likely feature at least 4 new rotation players. Williams took the starting role from Matt Haarms early in the season, and was at times, the best big man in the conference. He is an elite passer with the kind of bruising inside game that can flash you back to simpler basketball times.
He had one of the highest possession rates in the country, finishing a play nearly 31% of the time he got the ball, often in the low block.
His passing numbers look like a guards. He was second on the team with a 17% rate, frankly, on a team that lacked people to give assists to. There are big men that need the ball to eat for themselves and dominate the game, but more unusual, there are big men that are more effective getting the ball with more talent around them. Williams is that kind of players.
He is a low post savant when he’s not forced to take on some of the tougher post defenders 1 on 1. His pace is beyond his year and his vision is nearly perfect. There’s not a pass he can’t make out of the post - cross court to open shooters, bounce passes to cutters, etc...
His 36 point, 20 rebound double-overtime game against Michigan was one of the best big men performances in Purdue history. That’s saying something.
The myth about basketball is that big men are dying. That three pointers and the pick and roll have done away with the basketball of our fathers. While the game of basketball has certainly changed, and a certain style of big men is less valuable than ever, the real answer is that big men, as dinosaurs before, die out when they refuse to evolve.
While big men that can shoot offers a quick evolution towards spacing, a big man who can gobble up space and find open teammates is an alternative solution. Williams is a bully, capable of changing the tide of a game on the glass. He’s a top 5 offensive rebounder in the nation and the 60th best rebounder on the defensive end. He grabbed nearly a quarter of the misses while on the floor.
He can do this while also making everyone on the court better. The improved shooting around him and added athleticism will both be play things for his vision and passing from all over the floor. He has suggested at having the touch for a mid range jumper, and has shown himself capable of iniating the offense at the elbow and post. Smart offensive players will be able to use the attention he draws to get open looks.
In a season full of unknowns for Coach Painter, it’s good to know he has one answer figured out.