COLLEGE STATION, Tex. - Freshman sensation Robert Williams announced Tuesday that he plans to return to Texas A&M for his sophomore season after weighing the option of entering the 2017 NBA Draft after just one season in Aggieland.
Williams, a native of Oil City, La., emerged as a star on the hardwood for the Aggies during his rookie campaign, garnering SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors in addition to being named to both the All-SEC Second Team and SEC All-Freshman squads.
The 6-foot-9 forward made 17 starts during his rookie year while averaging 11.9 points, a team-leading 8.2 rebounds per contest and shooting an impressive 55.8 percent from the field. Williams totaled 11 double-doubles on the season, second only to Ole Miss senior Sebastian Saiz among all SEC players.
On the defensive end, Williams stood out as one of the NCAA's most disruptive forces this season. He owns the nation's longest active blocked shot streak, having collected a swat in all 31 contests, while posting 22 multi-block games as well as eight affairs with four or more blocks. A three-time SEC Freshman of the Week honoree, Williams' 77 total blocked shots are 19th-most among all Division-I players this season (as of 3/18 games) were the second most by an Aggie in a single season, trailing only David Harris' 108 in 1989-90.
SEC play saw Williams’ productivity reach another level as he led the league in blocked shots (2.6 per game), while checking in at second in both rebounding (9.6 boards per game) and field goal percentage (54.2 percent).
Texas A&M men’s basketball now stands to return one of the SEC’s formidable rosters to the hardwood for the 2017-18 campaign, bringing back four starters and 13 total players, representing 86.1 percent of the Aggies’ total scoring output.
Additionally, A&M will be boosted on the hardwood by the addition of freshman JJ Caldwell, a highly-regarded point guard who redshirted the 2016-17 season, and welcome another nationally-ranked signing class to Aggieland. 247 Sports regards Texas A&M’s incoming class as the 14th best in the country while ESPN slots the four Aggie commits among the top 12 players in the state of Texas.
TEXAS A&M FRESHMAN FORWARD ROBERT WILLIAMS
“First of all, I would like to thank God for blessing me with the awesome opportunity to play at a great university like Texas A&M. I would also like to thank my parents, family, coaches, teammates and fans for supporting me through my freshman year. I love A&M and it was a great experience which helped me grow and get better as a player and a person. Although I've grown, I still feel like I would benefit from another year of college. This will give me more time to mature and develop my game before moving on to the NBA. With that being said I've decided I owe it to myself to stay another year at Texas A&M. Again, I would like to thank everyone for their support and I know next year will be even better. Gig 'em Aggies!”
TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH BILLY KENNEDY
“I’m thankful that Robert loves Texas A&M and his teammates. I know this was a difficult decision for him and his family. He’s not only a special talent but a special young man. His desire to be the best and his trust in us in humbling. I can’t wait for next season!”