A player to watch: Illinois

Troy Williams has averaged 14 points per game over the last three games which is double his season scoring average. Indiana needs his production level to be high this week as it begins play in the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.

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.

For today's B1G Tournament opener with Illinois, we'll take a look at freshman Troy Williams:

In many ways last week Indiana basketball fans saw the new Troy Williams. He was less tentative, looked much more comfortable and was aggressive in taking the ball to the basket. His performances against Nebraska at home and Michigan on the road earned him Big Ten freshman of the week honors. Williams had 18 points against Nebraska and 16 more against Michigan. It was his best back-to-back production of the season and the first time in his career that he had notched double-figure scoring games in back-to-back games as well. A starter for all 31 games this season, Williams recorded his seventh and eighth double figure scoring games. Perhaps even more impressive was his shooting numbers. Williams was 15-of-21 from the field in the two games. Yes, a lot of those baskets were around the rim but he also made a pair of 3-pointers against Nebraska. If you include his eight points the game before against Ohio State, Williams has now scored 42 points in the last three games, an average of 14 points per game.

The question on the minds of Indiana basketball fans everywhere is whether this is truly the New Williams or if the inconsistent played that has hampered him most of the season will return beginning today in the B1G Tournament? Williams scored eight points in each of the first two games against the Illini which would indicate it's an opponent he is comfortable facing. His season scoring average, even with the last three games, is now up to 7.2 points per game so those eight point games were solid. The other challenge for Williams is simply not to try to do too much. While his production in recent games has been up, so have his turnovers. He has seven in the last three games and 54 for the season. If Williams can slow down and let the game come to him, he could be the spark beginning this week in the conference tournament that Indiana clearly needs to go along with steady performances from Yogi Ferrell, Noah Vonleh and Will Sheehey.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch


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