If the Tennessee Vols don’t retire Grant Williams’ jersey after his collegiate playing days are over, it will be the one of the biggest mistakes the program has ever made.
And that’s saying a lot when you consider previous mistakes include nearly hiring Greg Schiano in 2017.
Williams, who was named the AP and Coaches SEC player of the year earlier this month, is one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy — college basketball’s highest honor.
Naismith Trophy Finalists:
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 19, 2019
While it’s almost a certainty that Duke’s Zion Williamson will win the award, it’s still an incredible achievement for Williams to be nominated.
I don’t think many fans, or analysts, thought a few years ago that Tennessee would have one of the four best players in the nation on their roster. But that’s a testament to the job that Rick Barnes has done on Rocky Top. It also says a lot about the work Williams, a former three-star recruit, has put in during his time in Knoxville.
The Charlotte native led the SEC in scoring this season with 19.0 points per game. He was also sixth in the SEC in rebounds per game (7.6).
And here’s a unique stat via the NCAA’s official website: Williams has converted on 31-of-34 “and one” free throw attempts (91.4 percent). Essentially, he’s been good for nearly one old fashioned three-point play a game.
Williams will easily go down as one of the top basketball players in UT history. I imagine his No. 2 will be hanging from the rafters at Thompson-Boling Arena in the very near future .
Featured image via Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports