Williams content with redshirt

Freshman forward is happy with his decision

Sitting on the bench on game nights, DeAaron Williams gets the itch to step on court with his University of Wisconsin teammates. But he is committed to sitting out this year, taking a redshirt and developing over the course of the next four years.

"I've got thoughts in my head that I want to play but I'm glad for the decision now," Williams said. "[I've] still got four years."

The smooth 6-foot-4 freshman forward should be worth the wait. Williams is an electric wing player with the instincts and talent to slash to the basket and rattle off highlight reel plays in the open floor. Part of an athletic scout team, Williams is a high riser who may some day challenge sophomore forward Alando Tucker's school vertical leap record.

"It's tough redshirting and stuff because I want to be on the court so bad but…. helping the team out has been good," Williams said. "I think the scout team is putting pressure on the starters and people who is playing. It's helping them a lot out in the games. We just try to go out on them as hard as we can. Hopefully it pays off in the game."

If he had felt ready, Williams likely could have found a spot in the Badgers' rotation this season. There is no telling how many minutes he would have received, however, and he is putting his redshirt year to good use.

After a standout career at Limestone Community HS in Bartonville, Ill., Williams arrived in Madison more or less as advertised: an exceptionally athletic player who needed to improve his shooting.

To assist in that improvement, the Badgers' coaching staff fitted Williams with a contraption resembling a plastic plate that he slipped onto his left hand. For a couple weeks early in the season, Williams participated in shooting drills with the plate in place, helping to keep his guide hand from interfering with his shooting motion. The plate has been largely absent since.

"I'm trying to retire that a little bit, but the coaches still stay on me about it," Williams said. "I use it a few other times but I try to keep it in my locker."

Williams shooting remains a work in progress but he has noticed considerable improvement. As a result he is not troubling himself with thinking about every minute aspect of his shot.

"It's more automatic," he said.

"I think it's been a lot better," Williams said. "Hopefully continue to get better, continue to knock them down."

In addition to shooting, Williams has been concentrating on improving his ball handling and defense. All things considered, he feels his transition to Division I basketball and college in general has been "pretty smooth."

"I kind of knew what to expect when I was coming in," he said. "I knew I was going to play against better players, and stronger, bigger, faster. I knew college was going to be hard in general, like school, because it's college and a university like this, it's hard to get in here. So, I know I have to work extra hard off the court in the classroom."

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