Terrence Williams Has Mysterious, Possibly Fabricated Behavioral Issues


Recently, I’ve been reading a fairly standard column for this time of year – the “NBA draft stock report.” Just like countless other draft gurus, ESPN’s Chad Ford has been monitoring the successes and failures of numerous college basketball players that are considered NBA prospects. I will guiltily confess to devouring these reports with regularity, even though they are typically formulaic and unenlightening. Such columns serve essentially as gossip, and we know that sells.

I was struck by a sentence in the March 23rd edition of Ford’s column. About Louisville’s senior forward Terrence Williams:

He has all the physical tools to be a lottery pick, but his game has rarely matched his talent. Poor shooting percentages, high turnover rates and some off-putting on-the-court behavior have given many scouts pause.

Because I follow Louisville basketball a bit more than I should, I wondered about the veracity of the italicized section. For some reason, Louisville’s games are constantly broadcast here in New York. One of my closest friends is a Louisvillian, so I find myself much more cognizant of the Cardinals’ inner-workings than most people are on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. In my experiences watching and discussing Louisville, I have never heard of any on-the-court behavioral issues on Williams’ part. My friend was just as confused as I was. If anything, broadcasters continually praise Williams as a delightful young man, dedicated leader, and consummate teammate. I considered posting about this assessment, but decided there were bigger fish to fry. 

Today, in another moment of weakness, I found myself reading Ford’s chat on ESPN.com. A reader asked about the draft stocks of Williams and teammate Earl Clark. An excerpt from Ford’s answer:

And both have been maddeningly inconsistent … especially Williams. Combine that with some off the court concerns and you can see why they may not crack the lottery.

I officially have no idea what is going on. First, Williams had problematic on-the-court behavior. Now, he has off-the-court concerns. Those are fairly serious statements, and more than a little disconcerting considering that no one I know can think of a single explanation for these characterizations. It’s probably too much to call this libelous, but it would be awfully nice if Ford would explain the thinking or information behind these assessments instead of remaining unspecific. 

I ask you plainly: do you know what Ford is talking about? Has Williams had any behavioral problems that would warrant regular mention? My current status is curious, but it’s more than capable of escalating to angry if these characterizations remain without illustration or explanation.




5 Responses to Terrence Williams Has Mysterious, Possibly Fabricated Behavioral Issues

  1. Asa says:

    I also seen a draft report saying the T-Will has of the court issue, and was looking into the situation online and found your response. I am also a Louisville fan and a T-Will fan, and live in Louisville I have watched T-Will play since his freshman days. I don’t know what that guy is talking about, there has never been any reports in the papers or blogs thru the years about any issues. The fans love him down here coach pitino has all but good things to say about him. That dude is crazy talking like that.

  2. Kevin says:

    I’m going to try and ask Mr. Ford about this during his next chat. Unfortunately, he had one today and I missed it. I’m totally with you though – I can’t find a single darned person who has any idea what he’s referring to. Maybe you could ask him too. The more people, the better.

    Thanks for your comment. I hope you keep checking us out.

  3. TBone says:

    I was poking around on some draft sites, and the only thing I could find was the statement “some scouts worry about his maturity.” Of course, no elaboration. Anyway, I can’t wait for draft day to see what ESPN lists as his strengths, as I fully expect them to list “jump shooting” (remember when they said Shan Foster needed to improve his 3-point shot?).

  4. jodymack1 says:

    Are they speaking of work ethic? According to the experts he has very few measurables that say Top 20 pick. Ability to play three positions seems to be one of his biggest advantages. Are they saying his skills haven’t improved? i.e. catch and shoot, shoot off the dribble, dribble drive and finish strong at the rim? I had always thought that most of Louisville’s offense was from defensive pressure and once a team didn’t turn the ball over, UL had issues. I didn’t see a lot of fundamentally sound guys who could make basketball plays. The Spartans exposed that.

  5. Kevin says:

    Ford isn’t referring to his work ethic or basketball skills at all, just some supposed character issues. The more I think about this, the funnier I find it, because it really seems like Williams’ basketball skills (i.e. total shooting ineptitude) should be more of a concern than his personality. But no, apparently his skills are good enough to make him a lottery pick – if this “character issues” didn’t exist, of course.

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