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The Latest Chronicle Profile: Mark Williams

Duke’s young big man has immense potential

NCAA Basketball: Duke Countdown to Craziness
Oct 15, 2021; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Trevor Keels (1) throws a pass around center Mark Williams(15) during Duke Countdown to Craziness at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Duke has a lot of strengths this season and one of them is going to be in the lane where Theo John, Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams will be on patrol. And Williams, with a very long reach, is almost certainly going to start at center.

By the end of last season, Williams had emerged as a major force, easily one of the best centers in the ACC.

He was obviously long and imposing and certainly he used those assets but what he also demonstrated was a very high basketball IQ. He’s got the chance to become a really imposing presence

That said, as the Chronicle points out, there’s work to do. Aside from bulking up, which is a must for the still-slim Williams, he needs to work on positioning: “The Virginia Beach, Va., native’s inability to defend ball screens will be a huge question for the Blue Devils this season. He is great at turning shots away but often falls out of position and lost during the pick and roll screens. He would need to learn how to sort his feet during these situations or this might prove to be one of the weak links for the Blue Devils.“

That’s correctable obviously. We think Williams has a very bright future.