Ryan Craig

Elliot Williams finally having an impact for Duke

Posted February 22, 2009

Elliot Williams was the most highly touted freshman to walk on Duke’s campus this past year, but you wouldn’t have known it through the Devils’ first 25 games or so.

Playing very few minutes in most games and sometimes not at all in ACC play, Williams was in danger of becoming the latest Blue Devil five-star recruit to be relegated to college basketball insignificance.

And then there was the St. John’s game - Williams’ first start in a game that mattered, which was apparently preceeded by a solid week of practice.

The first-year player out of Memphis scored 11 points on 5-6 shooting in 31 minutes, all career bests on the college level.

More importantly, after a few opening-minute jitters, he didn’t turn the ball over or get lost on defense off the ball.

Williams showed Duke fans, and more importantly, the Blue Devils’ coaching staff, that he could be trusted in important situations, as a win against a lesser team on what amounts to a second home floor at Madison Square Garden, was a must for the reeling Devils.

Now, could he do it in the ACC?

After his game against Wake Forest Sunday night, the answer, after one game at least, is a resounding yes.

Sure, the sample size is small, but the game against arguably the ACC’s most talented team was possibly Duke’s most important of the season to date – and number 20 was on the floor for the opening tip, and the final seconds.

They say it’s not about who starts games, but who finishes them – well, Williams did both against Wake, and his production during the minutes in between was pretty solid as well.

His final stat line shows that he tied his career high with 11 points, but it’s the steals column that will have Duke fans, coaches and teammates excited.

Against the conference’s best ball-handling duo of Jeff Teague and Ishmael Smith, Williams had four steals, most of which took place during a stretch in the first half that helped Duke jump out to a huge lead.

Picking off inbounds passes and picking the pockets of unsuspecting ball handlers, Williams again showed he belonged, and this time it was on a much larger stage.

Teague and Smith combined for 40 points on the night, but that was only because with both on the court simultaneously, Williams could only guard one of them at a time.

Duke’s depth is still limited, but for much of the season, its athleticism was even more of a weakness.

If Elliot Williams can continue to be the player he was against Wake Forest, Duke will have to worry less about both.

1 Comment

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • jwcarter3 Feb 23, 2009

    Finally has an impact. Because K finally decided to give some minutes to his athletic players. Elliott Williams should be so much further along in his advancement of skills, except K doesn't like to adjust the lineup. If he could get Plumlee in there to get some minutes instead of letting Zoubek screw around for 3-4 minute stretches, the Devils could actually develop an inside outside duo.

Listen & Watch
TV
  • Logan Zone

    Tomorrow at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • Golf: The Tour Championship

    Tomorrow at 1:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Oakland @ Washington

    Friday at 8:30 pm on WRAL-TV

NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 21
LA Rams41Final
San Francisco39
Sunday, Sep. 24
Baltimore 6:30 PT7:30 MT8:30 CT9:30 ET13:30 GMT21:30 6:30 MST8:30 EST8:30 CT17:30 UAE9:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
Jacksonville 
Denver 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Buffalo 
New Orleans 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Carolina 
Pittsburgh 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Chicago 
Atlanta 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Detroit 
Cleveland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Indianapolis 
Tampa Bay 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Minnesota 
Houston 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
New England 
Miami 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
NY Jets 
NY Giants 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Philadelphia 
Seattle 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ETNaN:�
Preview
Tennessee 
Cincinnati 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
Preview
Green Bay 
Kansas City 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
Preview
LA Chargers 
Oakland 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
Washington 
Monday, Sep. 25
Dallas 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
Arizona 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Memphis 4:07 PT5:07 MT6:07 CT7:07 ET12:07 GMT
Durham 
TOUR Championship (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1P. Casey-1218
2tK. Kisner-1018
2tX. Schauffele-1018
4tB. Koepka-718
4tP. Reed-718
4tJ. Thomas-718
7tJ. Day-618
7tJ. Rahm-618
9tR. Henley-518
9tJ. Rose-518
View Full Leaderboard
 
Evian Champ (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1A. Nordqvist - z-9F
2B. Altomare - y-9F
3tM. Jutanugarn-8F
3tK. Kirk-8F
3tL. Ko-8F
6tS. Feng-7F
6tS. Kim-7F
8J. Song-6F
9M. Lee-5F
10tG. Hall-4F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
Portugal Masters (EURO)
PosNameScoreThru
1L. Bjerregaard-1418
2G. Coetzee-1318
3tE. Pepperell-1218
3tM. Warren-1218
3tN. Bertasio-1218
6tC. Paisley-1118
6tA. Wu-1118
6tT. Detry-1118
6tN. Elvira-1118
6tG. Storm-1118
View Full Leaderboard
 
PURE Championship (CHMP)
PosNameScoreThru
1B. Langer-1218
2K. Perry-1118
3S. Parel-1018
4J. Kelly-918
5tD. Frost-818
5tS. McCarron-818
7tO. Browne-718
7tB. Mayfair-718
7tJ. Durant-718
10tP. Price-618
View Full Leaderboard
 
ATP Scoreboard
Saturday, Sep. 23
St. Petersburg Open (ATP)
Semifinals
(8) J. Struff3 5    
D. Dzumhur6 7    
(1) R. Bautista A6 67 65   
(3) F. Fognini2 79 77   
 
Moselle Open (ATP)
Semifinals
(5) M. Zverev3 0    
P. Gojowczyk6 1    
(7) B. Paire6 77    
N. Basilashvi1 65    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Saturday, Sep. 23
Guangzhou Women's Open (WTA)
Final
(2) S. Zhang6 3 6   
A. Krunic2 6 2   
 
Korea Open (WTA)
Semifinals
(1) J. Ostapenko3 6 6   
L. Kumkhum6 1 3   
R. Hogenkamp1 67    
B. Haddad Mai6 79    
 
Toray Pan Pacific Open (WTA)
Semifinals
(1) G. Muguruza2 0    
(3) C. Wozniacki6 6    
Final
(3) C. Wozniacki5     
A. Pavlyuchen0