The Washington Post

Maryland’s Jordan Williams mulling over NBA decision

Maryland forward Jordan Williams, who recently completed his sophomore season, has not made a decision about whether he’ll leave College Park for the NBA, Coach Gary Williams said Friday night.

“It’s an ongoing process. There hasn’t been any decision reached at this point,” Gary Williams said in a voicemail. “We’re talking with Jordan and just trying to point out all the things that are out there — his opportunities that are there both in college and in the NCAA. This is kind of a different year with a potential lockout.”

If the NBA’s owners and players cannot agree on a new collective bargaining agreement before the current deal expires June 30, the league is likely to lock out its players. The owners are pushing for a hard salary cap, a reduction in salaries and a reduction of guaranteed money in a new collective bargaining agreement.

NCAA underclassmen who are thinking about leaving college early for the professional ranks will have to weigh the potential for such a work stoppage.

UCLA Coach Ben Howland, for one, thinks the NBA’s labor stoppage will be a long one.

"I can tell you in the NBA, in my opinion, this is going to be a serious lockout," Howland told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. “They will not be playing, in my opinion, next December and maybe even January. . . . You're not even going to get paid next year for half the year."

Jordan Williams, who is listed at 6 feet 10, was named to the all-ACC first team this season after averaging 16.9 points and a conference-best 11.6 rebounds per game. He posted 23 double-doubles this season, which set the program record, and shot 54.1 percent from the field. As a freshman, Williams was named to the ACC all-rookie team after averaging 9.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

College underclassmen have until April 24 to declare for the NBA draft. If they do not sign with an agent, the deadline to withdraw their name from the draft — and thus retain their college eligibility — is May 8.

Without Jordan Williams, Maryland would have to fill some holes in its front court next season. Williams and fellow forward Dino Gregory — a senior last season — were the only Terrapins to start all 33 games last season. Rising sophomore Hauk Palsson, who is 6-6, started three games at forward, including Maryland’s two ACC tournament games. He averaged 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds. Forwards James Padgett, a sophomore last season, and Mychal Parker, a freshman, averaged 8.7 and 6.2 minutes per game, respectively. Parker only saw action in 13 games.

Recruits Nick Faust and Sterling Gibbs have signed letters-of-intent and will join the Terrapins next season, but neither is a forward. Martin Breunig — a 6-foot-9, 215-pound forward from Germany who played last season at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy in Wisconsin — has given Maryland an oral committment. praised his shooting touch and athleticism but noted that “Breunig may not be ready to make an immediate contribution upon reaching Maryland.”

Liz Clarke currently covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. She has also covered seven Olympic Games, two World Cups and written extensively about college sports, tennis and auto racing.


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