Jaylin Williams will stay in the 2022 NBA draft and miss the last two years with the Arkansas Razorbacks


Jaylin Williams will stay in the 2022 NBA draft and miss the last two years with the Arkansas Razorbacks

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Jaylin Williams will remain in the 2022 NBA draft and forfeit his remaining college eligibility, he announced Saturday.

The decision comes after several weeks of testing the waters, which included training in Miami and attending the Chicago combine earlier this month. He had until June 1 to retire his name and return to Arkansas.

At the start of the NBA Draft Combine, Williams told NCAA.com’s Andy Katz that he “would like to hear a guarantee before making a final decision,” and he must have received it, although it’s widely predicted that he’ll hit the middle of the second round will go in mock drafts.

It is the fourth straight year that the Razorbacks have dropped a player out of school to pursue a professional career, as Williams follows Moses Moody (2021), Isaiah Joe and Mason Jones (2020) and Daniel Gafford (2019). .

“To Razorback Nation, thank you!” Williams wrote in a statement on Twitter. “For a kid growing up in Fort Smith, Arkansas, the past two years have been nothing but a dream come true. All the love was felt. From court storms to the March Madness runs, we could never have done it without you all!”

“We hope he does great,” head coach Eric Musselman said in a radio interview earlier this month. “It’s great for the program. Moses Moody, who plays for us for a year (and) is a lottery winner, is a big selling point in recruitment. … We want (Williams) to get him drafted as high as possible.”

As part of the announced Class of 2020 that helped restore the Arkansas program, Williams will retire from college after helping the Razorbacks to a 53-16 record and consecutive Elite Eights — and with it a 25-year drought has overcome, which did not reach the second weekend of the NCAA tournament.

Despite being a four-star prospect and the No. 59 overall standings in the country, Williams didn’t play much as a freshman, coming from Fort Smith Northside. In fact, he missed the floor in six games and played under 10 minutes in nine others.

However, his role expanded over time as he became a key player off the bench, even appearing in the final three games of the NCAA tournament.

That set the stage for a landmark sophomore year, during which he earned first-team All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive team honors. He nearly had a double-double on season averages and finished with 10.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game.

While he was good from the start, Williams’ game evolved over the season and he was even better in the SEC game, averaging 13.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 1, 2 blocks against conference opponents.

(CONTINUE READING: Season review 2021/22 – Jaylin Williams)

He ended up hitting double-doubles in 16 of the last 23 games of the season, also breaking the UA record with 364 rebounds in a single season, and leading the NCAA with 54 draws. Four of those double-doubles came in the NCAA tournament and equaled Corliss Williamson’s career UA record for the big dance.

At the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, Williams excelled in scrimmage settings with his motor skills, physicality and consistency, as well as showing an improved 3-point shot.

“During practice on Wednesday I noticed William’s stroke and it was obvious he was working on his shot,” wrote Kyle Irving of The Sporting News. “With his size and mobility, it’s hard for me to believe he can’t find a home as a potential small ball five in the NBA.”

The Razorbacks apparently planned the loss of Williams based on their move in the portal. The first four transfers they landed — Trevon Brazile from Missouri, twins Makhi and Makhel Mitchell from Rhode Island, and Jalen Graham from Arizona State — were forwards 6ft 9 or taller.

Their most recent addition, Wichita State guard Ricky Council IV, also seemed to indicate Williams would move on as he put Arkansas on 14 scholarships. With him remaining in the NBA draft, the Razorbacks are right on the 13-man mark.

Click here for a look at how the 2022-23 squad has progressed and reached this point.

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