The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

November 26, 2013

Only foul trouble can slow down Williams



Against UCLA Sunday, Williams scored 12 points in 12 minutes and fouled out in a game OU lost 82-76. Against Texas-Arlington, the game before, she scored 10 points in 12 minutes and committed four fouls. In the game before that, against No. 4 Louisville, she scored 10 points in 11 minutes and fouled out of what became a 97-92 overtime loss.

The Sooners have played some of their best minutes with Williams on the floor, maybe their very best against Louisville in the midst of a furious second-half comeback. Williams might well belong in the starting five, yet Coale can’t possibly pull the that trigger knowing there’s a really good chance Williams will be exiting after two quick fouls.

Sometimes, the numbers simply don’t lie. And sometimes, like this time, they’re not very kind to the Sooner sophomore.

On the other hand … if she could just stay out of foul trouble and play 25 or 30 minutes, imagine what she might do?

Actually, you can run the numbers on that, too.

A year ago, Brittney Griner averaged 30.8 minutes, 23.8 points and 9.4 rebounds for Baylor (she averaged 4.1 blocks, too, but we’re not going to hold Williams to that standard). That comes out to 0.77 points and 0.3 rebounds per minute for maybe the best player in the history of the women’s college game.

Well, Griner’s per-minute averages last season are not as high as Williams’ per-minute averages this season. 

In fact, if Williams could play Griner’s minutes last season at the same productivity level she’s averaging through six games this season, she’d average 25.5 points and 11.7 rebounds.

She’s be an All-American.

Of course, you can make a case Griner’s not the best collegiate player of all time, that she wasn’t as good as Courtney Paris in ’05-’06 or ’06-’07, when the Sooner center averaged 29 minutes, 21.9 points and 15 rebounds (and 3.3 blocks) as a freshman and 30.3 minutes, 23.5 points and 15.9 rebounds (and 3.4 blocks) as a sophomore.

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