Robert Williams Announces Return to Texas A&M, Will Forgo 2017 NBA Draft

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2017

Feb 22, 2017; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Texas A&M Aggies forward Robert Williams (44) reacts after a play in the second half against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena. Arkansas defeated Texas A&M 86-77. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Williams is headed back to the Texas A&M Aggies following a standout freshman season.   

Evan Daniels of Scout first reported Williams was returning to College Station, Texas, after he was one of the Aggies' few bright spots during the 2016-17 campaign. Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle confirmed the news and passed along a statement from the forward:

First of all, I would like to thank God for blessing me with the awesome opportunity to play at a great university like Texas A&M. I would also like to thank my parents, family, coaches, teammates and fans for supporting me through my freshman year. I love A&M and it was a great experience which helped me grow and get better as a player and a person. Although I've grown, I still feel like I would benefit from another year of college. This will give me more time to mature and develop my game before moving on to the NBA. With that being said I've decided I owe it to myself to stay another year at Texas A&M.

Williams flew under the radar on an unheralded Aggies team, but his numbers don't lie. In 25.8 minutes per game as a freshman, the 6'9", 237-pound forward averaged 11.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game during the regular season. 

According to Sports-Reference.com, Williams was one of just 10 players during the 2016-17 campaign to maintain those averages in advance of the NCAA tournament. 

Helping matters is that Williams has a gaudy 7'5" wingspan that should allow him to operate as an intimidating rebounder, rim protector and lob finisher once he makes the jump to the next level. 

However, Williams isn't limited strictly to emphatic finishes in the paint.

Williams knocked down a solid 41.1 percent of his two-point jumpers last season, per Hoop-Math.com, and he flashed glimpses of a reliable jump shot that could one day extend beyond the arc if he continues to refine his mechanics. 

And with another year to hone his skills in the SEC, Williams has the potential to solidify his status as a lottery lock if he can make a developmental leap when he suits up for the Aggies during the 2017-18 season.

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