Welcome to A10 Talk’s Preseason Top 25 Player Countdown for the 2017-18 season. Each day, we’ll be publishing a new article, counting down our best 25 players for the coming season. Today, we feature #12 Xeyrius Williams of Dayton.
Our Top 25 Player Countdown is a compiled list based on voting from our staff and writers from across the league. Thanks to the following for helping configure this year’s Top 25 Atlantic 10 Player Countdown:
Grant Labedz (@GrantLabedz), Mat Shelton-Eide (@MatSheltonEide), Grant Kelly (@GrantKelly07), Andrew Phung (@LoveRI401), By George (@ByGeorgeGMU), Davidson Recruiting (@DavidsonMBBRecr), Steve DiMiceli (@SteveDiMiceli), Rhody Rampage (@RhodyRampage), UMass Recruiting (@UMassRecruiting), Bona Blog (@BonaBlog), Petey Buckets (@PeteyBuckets), and UMass Ball Report (@theumbr).
What He’s Done
By far Dayton’s most improved player last season, Xeyrius Williams has gone from playing a slim bench role too becoming one of the Atlantic 10’s rising stars. A local product from Wayne high school, Williams chose to stay close to home and play his college ball at Dayton shortly after receiving an offer from the Flyers. Coming out of high school as a two-star recruit, Williams did not exactly start his college career with high expectations. The 6’8″ forward’s freshman season confirmed those expectations. Playing less than 10 minutes per game and averaging just two points, Williams was far from bursting onto the scene his freshman year.
In 2016-17, however, things changed drastically. With Dayton’s big men plagued by injuries throughout much of last season, Williams got his chance to shine and took advantage. Playing nearly 23 minutes a night, Williams quadrupled his production in almost every category. The athletic forward averaged 8.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. What made Williams so valuable, though, was his remarkably improved three point shooting. Sniping at a 42% clip from behind the arc, Williams emerged as one of the conference’s best three point shooters.
What He’ll Do
With Scoochie Smith, Kendall Pollard, Kyle Davis, and Charles Cooke all graduated, Dayton will rely heavily on Williams this season. Now an upperclassman, new Dayton head coach Anthony Grant will call upon Williams to step up and lead the team. Coming off a stellar sophomore season, Williams will look to prove that last year was not a fluke. If Williams continues to improve at the rate he did last season, the sky truly is the limit. Watch for Dayton’s talented junior forward to emerge as one of the A-10’s top players in the 2017-18 campaign.
Previously: #13 Yuta Watanabe