With each game this season we'll put the spotlight on an Indiana player that we believe is someone to keep an eye on for that particular game.
Troy Williams will be out to do something tonight that he hasn't done to this point in his 26-game college basketball career: post back-to-back double-digit scoring games. Williams has reached double figures five times this season. Those opponents included Chicago State, Samford, Washington, Oakland, Minnesota and Northwestern. Both times he has accomplished the feat in Big Ten play came in road games. Williams is coming off a Big Ten high 12 points Saturday in 23 minutes of a 61-56 victory over Northwestern. He hit 5-of-7 shots from the field, had four rebounds and probably even more importantly did not commit a turnover. But consistency has been a problem for Williams all season and it's difficult to predict how the freshman forward from Hampton, Va. will fare tonight against the Badgers. In two of Williams' previous double-digit scoring games he completely disappeared the next game. After scoring 22 against Washington in Madison Square Garden earlier in the season, Williams was limited to two points on 1-of-4 shooting the next night against Connecticut. After scoring 13 against Oakland on Dec. 10, Williams came back four days later and was held scoreless against Notre Dame. His other three double digit scoring games were followed by games of 9, 8 and 8 points. The reality though is that for Indiana to be successful it needs another consistent scorer besides Noah Vonleh and Yogi Ferrell. If Williams can put together back-to-back double-digit scoring games it could be the first step to developing the kind of consistency the freshman forward needs.
Complicating matters in this game, however, are the fact that Williams didn't play particularly well the first time the Hoosiers and Badgers squared off in Bloomington on Jan. 14. Because of matchup problems, Williams only played eight minutes in the game despite starting. He made his only shot, finished with two points and had one rebound. So which Williams will show up tonight? Will he be the one that looked active, aggressive and consistent Saturday night against Northwestern, or the one that had a difficult time even getting into the game the first time against Wisconsin? The one area where Indiana was particular successful in the first game against the Badgers was in its ability to drive the ball to the basket. Williams has been better at that of late which may enable him to see more time on the court. And the truth is his 8 minutes against Wisconsin was a season-low for minutes. In every other game he has played at least 12 minutes and in every other Big Ten game he has played at least 17 minutes.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch