Terps' Jordan Williams enters NBA draft, doesn't hire agent

Sophomore center leaves open possibility of returning to College Park

March 29, 2011|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK — — Maryland center Jordan Williams has tentatively filed to enter the NBA draft following a sophomore season in which he averaged double digits in scoring and rebounding but the Terps missed out on postseason play.

Williams won't retain an agent, preserving his option to return to the Terps next season. He will have until May 8 to withdraw his name from the draft and maintain eligibility.

"I'm excited about testing the waters and seeing where I would be," the player said Tuesday in a news release. "It's always been a dream of mine to play at the next level. This will give me an opportunity to get feedback from some NBA coaches and scouts on what parts of my game need improvement in order to be successful."

Williams averaged 16.9 points and 11.8 rebounds for the Terps this season, earning honorable mention All-America honors from the Associated Press. But it was also a difficult season as Maryland didn't make the NCAA tournament or the National Invitation Tournament for the first time since 1992-93. Williams appeared to fight frustration at frequently being double-teamed and seeing his team repeatedly fall short in games against nationally ranked teams.

"We support Jordan in his efforts to see where he stands in regards to the NBA draft," Maryland coach Gary Williams said.

Two seasons ago, Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez filed for the NBA draft but then pulled his name out and returned for his senior year. Vasquez is now with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Williams' high school coach, Tony Turina, said he hopes the player makes time for a long talk with Gary Williams.

"I see so many positive parts of his game but I also see certain parts of his game that I know need improvements," said Turina, of Torrington, Conn. "He's got a big upside but he also has some parts of his game that I'm sure he knows he needs to improve upon."

Added Turina: "My advice is to sit down with Gary Williams and talk about the situation. Nobody knows Jordan better than Gary Williams."

Maryland football player Cameron Chism said he and Williams are working on a class presentation together. But he said Williams hasn't been in class lately.

"It's been two weeks," Chism said. "And the class meets twice a week. I hope he doesn't leave me hanging."

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sunjeffbarker

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