It is sometimes hard to believe how long it has been when first watching some of these prospects playing in college basketball. One of those prospects is big man Mark Williams at Duke.
When remembering the story of how we heard about Williams, Phenom Hoops learned about a 6’10 freshman that had a ton of potential and should be one to watch. He ultimately earned an invite to the 2017 Virginia Top 80, where he captured our eyes immediately with his size and skill set at an early age.
We had this to say after that event in 2017:
“Williams is going to be a load the more he develops. Outstanding size already for such a young prospect, nice touch, runs the floor well and really played well. Exceeded several expectations and he has the blood lines in his family to play ball. The more his confidence and the fight grows in him, the more he will be one of the top players in the state of Virginia.”
We also said this:
“When looking at his overall package, he has 5-star type potential written all over him.”
As the years went along, Williams continued to climb the rankings and was considered one of the top prospects in the country and ultimately earned and committed to Duke.
Now in Durham, it was going to be a learning curve early on as a freshman, getting used to the physicality at the next level. Williams took his growing pains but has continued to take the right steps in his development as a big. Averaging 5.5 points and 4.0 rebounds, Williams is now coming off his best outing against Georgia Tech and has now notched his second double-figure outing in three games.
Against Georgia Tech, Williams was a dominant force and filled up the scoresheet, finishing with 20 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, and three steals. That is shortly after finishing with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks in a win vs. Syracuse.
Performances like that, you can see what was viewed back in 2017, as Williams has the potential to be something special for the Blue Devils. And he is earning some valuable minutes as a freshman, which should only help him in the long run, as he hopes to really make his mark in Durham and in the ACC in the coming years.