Maryland coach Gary Williams has talked frequently about Jordan Williams' ability to play with his back to the basket.
More importantly, the freshman embraces that approach.
When you think about it, Maryland hasn't had a four-year player like that since Lonny Baxter. At least that was my hypothesis.
That discounts guys like Bambale Osby, Jamar Smith and Ryan Randle --- JUCO additions, each and every one. But they've all been needed almost precisely because the Terps couldn't find an effective back-to-the-basket big.
"Ryan was good. He wanted to do it that way," Gary Williams said. "Tahj Holden was a step-out guys. He liked to shoot the 3 at 6-10, 260. And Ekene Ibekwe wanted to be a second guard. I guess that's a yes."
You can throw in the likes of James Gist and Travis Garrison into this group as well. Obviously, Dave Neal wasn't a conventional big man, either.
But it works for Jordan Williams --- especially with Gary Williams' system, even if it's apparently harder to find a player of Jordan Williams' ilk now than a decade ago.
"It is, but it's like being a catcher in baseball or a left-handed pitcher," Gary Williams said. "That might be the quickest way to the major leagues. The guy from Pittsburgh [DeJuan Blair] that had the knee problems that got drafted in the second round, he's gotten over 20 rebounds in a game in the NBA already. He's about 6-6. He's a Lonny Baxter-sized player. Coaches want guys that will rebound and play defense inside. That's a rarity. All those teams have guys that can shoot the ball. What they're looking for is what they don't have, which is a player that will rebound. They don't care if he's 6-2 or 7-2. If he can rebound, he'll play for them."