Santa Barbara, CA — On Friday evening, December 6th, the California–Berkeley basketball team made its third visit ever to play its younger mid-major brother, the California–Santa Barbara Gauchos. There the Gauchos rudely upset the Bears , handing them a 72-65 loss. The on-campus Thunder Dome was rocking for this game, and numerous NBA scouts were on hand to watch UCSB’s center, junior Alan Williams.
Williams, at 6’7″ and 240 pounds, has been devastating the Gaucho’s opponents after a solid sophomore year. This year, he has played in only five of UCSB’s seven games due to back spasms. UCSB has won four of those five games, only losing to UCLA at Pauley Pavilion, where they were down by one point with seven minutes left in the game.
Alan is leading the team in scoring (27.5), rebounding (10.8), field goal percentage (59.2%), and blocks (2.8); and shares the UCSB record for scoring in a game (39 points) with Orlando Johnson of the Indiana Pacers. After watching him play for more than two years at UCSB, it is obvious that he has an NBA skill level, dominating college big men in the basket area. There have been concerns, though, that his mid-range game needed to improve, since at his height he would need to play the “4” at the next level. Tonight, the NBA scouts would have to admit that he showed definite improvement in his mid-range shooting, going 5 for 8 from the area 10 to 15 feet from the hoop. While Alan is constantly double-teamed, UCSB surrounds him with four players who shoot over 40 percent from the three-point line. Unselfishly, he passes out of those double-teams to an open man.
Stay tuned, you will be hearing much more about Big Al.
John Slavin is a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball.