When talking about the NBA's age limit and the removal of the prep-to-pros era, cases such as Lenny Cooke and Korleone Young are cited as reasons why the rule should exist. But perhaps the case of Amir Williams and those like him can be used as a narrative in conjunction with that, to speak to the dangers of assuming that everyone learns the game in college. Williams entered the collegiate game with much fanfare and yet leaves it four years later pretty much exactly the same as when he came into it. Some players went professional and flamed out, while some stayed amateur and burned out their own star without ever getting paid at all for it. Maybe, then, some players just don't work out.
Many aspects of Williams's game are the same as they ever were, something especially apparent in his flaws. Entirely and solely a paint player on both ends (his inability to defend the perimeter helpfully and not coincidentally masked by Ohio State's decision to use a zone defense at times), Williams has no skill outside of the paint. No handle, no jumpshot, no feet speed, no pick-and-roll play, no anything really. He can play only around the basket. And this would be fine had he not developed much there either. Offensively, Williams has plenty of strength to get position, and uses that strength to finish around the rim (which isn't for nothing - if it was that easy to do, Dallas Lauderdale would have done it). He occasionally demonstrates some footwork, able to spin left or create an inch of space for a righty hook, and his main offensive virtue is as an offensive rebounder, the strongest part of his game. But that about does it for offensive skill, and there is nothing reliable there. Williams is a turnover liability whether he has the ball or not; he commits a good number of illegal screens, and although his offensive game doesn't merit a double team, he struggles so badly when presented with one that he gets them anyway. If Williams catches the ball in the post, it doesn't come back out, and he doesn't always catch it in the first place. He is passive at times, clumsy at others, and rarely hustles to compensate.
With no passing game, no shot creation and limited finishing ability, Williams is limited on offense, which would by default put his value on the defensive end. But there's problems there, too. For the most part, he's just there - a presence around the basket, yes, but only around the basket, and not a hugely reliable one. Williams's shotblocking is the strongest aspect of his game, and he has the size and length to compete with anyone, but he limits his effectiveness here by being far too foul prone. He also does not fight to box out on the defensive glass, nor does he have the speed or motor to rebound out of his area.
Williams has a chance at redemption, but he has to play with more energy. He's big, he's wide, he's hard to move and he's got some great shot blocking timing as long as he doesn't have to rotate backwards or sideways. But the rest stagnated long ago. There's still time, but he's already used up some of it.