Deandre Ayton was always supposed to be basketball’s next big thing.
Williams has taken the flashes of Ty Montgomery earlier in the season and fellow rookie Aaron Jones in the middle of the season and put them all together as a more complete feature package. Since scoring at the end of the Lions game on his only carry, Williams has been unleashed as a workhorse back, averaging just fewer than 23 touches over his past five games.
The rushing yards haven’t been easy to grind out, given defenses were stacking up to stop the run and forcing Hundley to pass. But Williams has compensated with an amazing impact as an outlet receiver.
The Packers have remained committed to the run, all the way through the red zone �� and in back-to-back overtime victories. In the six games with Rodgers, the Packers ran an average of 22.2 times per game, averaging 4.0 yards per attempt with four rushing TDs. In the seven games Hundley started, those numbers were up to 26.1 and 4.7, respectively, with nine rushing TDs. Granted, some of that is tied to Hundley running more than Rodgers would, but there’s no doubt Williams has been a more effective all-around back than either Montgomery or Jones.
As a sophomore, Ayton was named the best long-term prospect at the high school level by Scout.com �� over seniors like Ben Simmons and Jaylen Brown and juniors like Jayson Tatum and Josh Jackson.
In that sense, the flat-out dominance Ayton has shown at Arizona two months into his college career is a formality, not a revelation.
There isn’t a more physically imposing player in the sport. It’s not just that Ayton is 7’1, 260 pounds and with a near 7’6 wingspan. It’s not just that he’s incredibly light on his feet, a vacuum on the glass and able to finish anything remotely near the basket with a merciless dunk. It isn’t only his burgeoning skill level and his supreme confidence in a rapidly improving jump shot.
For Ayton, it’s the total package. There is no one in college basketball this big, this athletic, and this skilled. In June, he’ll be one of the top three picks in the NBA draft. For now, he’s laying waste to one NCAA frontcourt after another.