For the majority of the 2017-18 season, there was no question about who the best player on Tennessee’s roster was. Sophomore forward Grant Williams powered the Vols on the offensive side of the ball as Rick Barnes ran the offense through him. Williams was recognized and rewarded by the media, who named him the SEC’s player of the year.
Williams is set to return as a junior, getting another shot to lead Tennessee deep into the post-season. Yesterday NCAA.com’s Andy Katz named Williams as a top 20 returning player in college basketball.
The full video from Katz is below. Williams checked in at No. 11 on his list of 20.
Rounding out the first half of our countdown, @TheAndyKatz delivers #15 to #11 in his Top 20 Returning Players for 2018-19! pic.twitter.com/xUX4C4tKmr— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) July 3, 2018
Williams averaged 15.6 points and six rebounds per game in 2017-18. The undersized 6-7 post player is one of the most tenacious scorers in college basketball today, routinely taking on players with clear height and length advantages. Williams was Tennessee’s leading scorer last season, narrowly edging out Admiral Schofield who really came on around tournament time.
Grant and the Vols will go from the hunters to the hunted this season, dealing with huge expectations following a surprisingly successful season. Both Williams and Schofield will have an opportunity to gain more of the national spotlight if the Vols can live up to those expectations.