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50 Days to Purdue Basketball: Trevion Williams

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Your 2021-22 Big Ten Player of the Year?

North Texas v Purdue Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Now we’re on track for this silly little countdown, and a little over seven weeks from the season opener against Bellarmine. Today we feature one of Bellarmine and Bellaryour favorite players.

Trevion Williams – Sr.

Chicago, IL (Henry Ford Academy)

6’10”, 265 pounds

Center

2021-22 Projection: Starter, potential All-American

Perhaps my favorite Purdue season ever was the 2018-19 season, where the Boilers looked dead in the water at 6-5 after 11 games, but eventually won the Big Ten and came within a hair of a Final Four. Tre was a huge reason for that as a freshman. He was little used before the Notre Dame game, but came in and provided a needed spark in what was eventually an 88-80 loss. He only averaged 5.2 points and 4 rebounds that season, but we started the see the flashes of a very good player.

The last two years he has evolved into an absolute force and an all caps PROBLEM for opposing teams. As a sophomore he averaged 11.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. Last year he upped that to 15.5-9.1-2.3. His passing as a big man is elite and sometimes too good, as he’ll occasionally rifle a pass too hard to a cutter (usually Mason Gillis) and it will ricochet out of bounds.

He also has had some games where he flat out rips an opponent to shreds. Michigan State officially wants absolutely no part of him. Just look at what he did to the Spartans last year:

February 16, 2021 – 75-65 win – 28 points, 6 rebound, 3 assists, 1 block, 1 steal

January 18, 2021 – 55-54 win – 26 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, game-winning basket

Tre is going to give it one more go-round here, and it should be fun. I don’t know about his NBA prospects because of his lack of an outside shot, but for the college game he has become the perfect big. He cannot be guarded one-on-one in the post. When he is doubled he is an elite passer who can find the open man. The word is that coach Painter is attempt to find a way to play him and Zach Edey together, and that could mean more of an exterior game. Can he be like Caleb Swanigan and be able to step out and hit the occasional three? He is 4 of 15 in his career from long range, but only attempted three last season. I think I could see a Nemanja Calasan level of “You get two and only two three-point attempts per game” for him.

Tre will reach 1,000 points very early in the season, as he currently sits at 967. I would love to see his defense improve, but with the luxury of Edey and now Caleb Furst behind him he can be a little more aggressive. He struggles defensively with bigs that pull him away from the basket, but his offensive capabilities make up for it. His free throw shooting is also a concern, as he is right around 50% from his career. It really is what it is at this point, but maybe he can get it to 60%, which would be huge.

It could be a very big year for him. I can see him averaging an 18-10-3 and winning Big Ten Player of the Year.