Alan Williams, UC Santa Barbara, 6'8 265lbs
An automatic double double for four years now, Williams would be a surefire NBA player were he bigger. He combines power and finesse in a way vaguely reminiscent of a right handed Zach Randolph, and swipes at the ball defensively to good effect like a young Carlos Boozer. But he isn't these guys.
He is, however, very good at the right level. Williams is a tremendous rebounder, particularly on the defensive end, who does everything right in this department. With good positional sense, good hands, plenty of strength and a high effort level, Williams can scrap for the ball around the basket, or track it down wherever it goes off the rim. Throughout his college career, Williams continuously improved at being able to do all of that without clumsily fouling along the way. His size and angle awareness are what make him such a good rebounder, aided by his wide frame (and the few extra pounds he has on it).
At first glance, Williams does not look that agile, and he certainly isn't the run-and-jump type of athlete found elsewhere on this list. He is however more nimble than he looks, and this is manifest through both his rebounding prowess and his defense, where he is surprisingly good at keeping in front of quicker players despite his lumbering appearance. Despite being a below-the-rim player and undersized for the centre position, Williams also succeeds at the more conventional aspects of big man defense, his reads and timing again coming to the fore in his shot blocking game, aided by a 7'2 wingspan. No aspect of Williams's defensive game is stand-out - often times he just stands at the back of the zone, by design, and sometimes he is too slow to rotate - but he contributes more than the eye might suggest.
This does not offset unfavourable projections in this department at the highest standards. Bigs with great length can shoot over him, however he contests them, and bigs with true speed can give him trouble, no matter how well he anticipates their drives and tries to stay in front. At the NBA level, almost every opponent will be one of these two things. But Williams is nonetheless defensively alert and adept, and more than willing to use his strength to compete as best he can.
Underpinning it all are great instincts and reads, which is also the case offensively. Be it through post touches or pick-and-roll (of which UCSB didn't run nearly enough for him), Williams has very much been a focal point of the Gauchos' halfcourt offense (though don't expect much in the full court). Williams does this in large part through hook shots with both hands, including a running hook, and is a good passer out of the post. There are a few holes in his offensive game, though. He stops the ball at times, a direct by-product of the offensive reliance placed upon him, and he is perhaps overly biased towards his right hand - his left hand touch seems noticably worse. Williams has also only been a good pick-and-pop jumpshooter in one year, really, and struggled for efficiency overall last year without adding much else to his game. In accordance with his fundamental soundness, though, Williams is a very good foul shooter for a big man, which bodes well for the jump shot's progression.
Wiliams could play in the NBA, definitely so if he can add a consistent outside shot to his game. The NBA is trending away from this style of player, but quality is quality however old school it may be. Williams is quality, even if he is a bit undersized and post-heavy. He stands a chance of being drafted. And even if he doesn't stick in the NBA, there could be big Chinese money in his near future.