For teams, when it comes to the point guard position, having someone who is smart and understands how to control the tempo is one of the most important things to have. The best NBA teams usually have some of the league’s smartest point guards, (Phoenix Suns era) Steve Nash, Chris Paul and Tony Parker are examples of this.
When considering that, it is safe to say that the Washington Huskies got themselves a good commitment out of Nigel Williams-Goss. The Findlay Prep prospect originally committed himself to UNLV before changing his mind to Washington. He also had offers from Harvard, UCLA and Oklahoma.
For the good part of two years, Williams-Goss shared the ball with Myck Kabongo. When Kabongo left for Texas, Williams-Goss was able to showcase his point guard skills and gained a lot of attention by proving he was a very talented lead guard.
After having spent his summer with the FIBA Under 19 team USA and being a key part of their gold winning effort, Williams-Goss will go to Washington ready for a great freshman year.
Here is a highlight video of Williams-Goss.
From a size perspective, at 6″3, Williams-Goss will be one of the taller point guards in the NCAA. This allows him to look over his defenders to see the offense developing. It also makes it easier for Williams-Goss to make passes over his opponent without worrying about turning it over.
As a point guard, Williams-Goss is really steady and intelligent. He does not force anything, controls the tempo as well as anyone in the nation and makes the smart pass. Williams-Goss is a low risk player who doesn’t play with a flashy style and often does not get noticed on the court but at the end of the game has put up stellar numbers.
Passing isn’t his only skill though, his shooting stroke from anywhere, but especially from three, is impressive. He won the McDonald’s All American three point shootout in 2013 and cannot be left open on the perimeter without risking an easy three points on the board. Williams-Goss had one game in the under 19 championship where he went off from three and just torched the other team. That type of situation will likely happen more than once in division one.
For a freshman he is incredibly mature and shows a lot of leadership abilities. That is a great asset for a point guard who needs to lead his team on the court but also off the court. Williams-Goss is a high character, extremely coachable guy and that translates to being a great teammate as well. He will lead the Huskies by example with his effort night in, night out on the floor.
That sort of effort translates to the defensive end where Williams-Goss doesn’t take a play off and is always harassing his opponent. For a point guard, he also attacks the boards with great effort and comes up with a lot of rebounds. This is great for the offense because if Williams-Goss pulls down a defensive rebound, it starts a quick offensive trip with the chance of an outlet pass coming from your point guard.
While he has good size, Williams-Goss is at best an average athlete. He does not explode off the floor and his first step is nothing special. This might make things a little hard for Williams-Goss when it comes to scoring on the drive because he might struggle to get by his man.
Offensively he will also need to add more moves when it comes to scoring from inside the arc. Williams-Goss already has a nice runner in the paint but that is his only go to move outside the three point shot. He needs to show the ability to score off the dribble, with lay ups and that he can do those things on a consistent basis.
Because of his lack of speed there are questions to how effective a scorer he will be in the NCAA. If Williams-Goss struggles to score, it will also effect his ability to be a good passer because defenses will key in on him and leave him no room to breathe. This is by no means a sure thing though, if he works hard in practice, Williams-Goss can add some offensive moves and become a really good scorer. He only needs to look at Steve Nash to see how players who might not be the most explosive can still be scarily effective with their own offense.
Defensively, he will need to work on not getting caught in the pick and roll. It would also be a good idea for Washington’s staff to get Williams-Goss working on his side to side movement to help him cover his ground on the perimeter. While Williams-Goss might struggle with quick point guards, he should still be a good defender in the NCAA simply based on his effort and commitment.
What to expect at Washington:
This is a great get for the Washington Huskies. Williams-Goss is mature, dependable and knows how to play his role. He should arrive on campus as a team leader already and will only get better as the season goes along. While he may be a freshman, Williams-Goss will look a lot more like an upperclassmen when it comes to his attitude and understanding of the game.
On the court, Williams-Goss should be a great creator for the Huskies and will be one of the most dangerous shooters from the three point line in the nation. Of course there will be some struggles, some bad shooting nights or some high turnover nights but on a day to day basis, Williams-Goss will make Washington a better team.
Given a few years, and Williams-Goss will likely play a few years, he should become one of the best point guards in the nation. Once Williams-Goss is able to combine an effective offense with his passing skills, he will be hard to stop offensively and should, at that point, be leading one of the most effective offenses in the NCAA.