Gonzaga senior Johnathan Williams III is one of 50 players on the Naismith Trophy Watch List, which was released today.
Williams averaged 10.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game last season, helping Gonzaga to its first Final Four and championship game appearance in school history. After the departures of Zach Collins and Przemek Karnowski up front, Williams is expected to anchor the line.
Williams flirted with the prospect of declaring for the NBA Draft at the end of the season, but ultimately returned to a team where he will be the leader. The Bulldogs, for the first time in forever, are viewed as “vulnerable” in the West Coast Conference. A majority of national pundits are picking Saint Mary’s to win the conference.
In Gonzaga’s exhibition win last week, Williams finished with 18 points, six rebounds, and two blocks in just 19 minutes of play.
Williams is the anchor of the squad in many ways. He, alongside Silas Melson, are the only two seniors on a squad that is melding many new faces this season. He is one of two big men from the West Coast Conference named to the list, alongside Jock Landale of Saint Mary’s.
For the full list of 50 players, click here.