Texas A&M Basketball: Robert Williams, Aggie Freshman Sensation

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
Texas A&M Basketball
Jan 21, 2017; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies forward Robert Williams (44) shoots the ball during the first half against the Georgia Bulldogs at Reed Arena. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

The brightest part of a disappointing Texas A&M basketball season, Robert Williams is turning heads and making headlines one block, one rebound, and one shot at a time.

A Freshman Sensation

Robert Williams came into the season widely unknown. Six feet nine inches tall. A wingspan of seven feet four inches. There is nothing small about Williams, the freshman out of Louisiana. Not his frame and certainly not his game.

Head Football coach Kevin Sumlin and staff refer to the players and recruits from Louisiana as “Louisi-animals”. It would seem the term could be expanded to Reed Arena as well.

Williams quickly worked his way into the starting lineup by his ability to block shots and rebound. Now he is continuing to shock the SEC with his sheer size and athleticism.

More from Basketball

He currently ranks 7th overall in the SEC in rebounds per game, averaging 6.9 per game. Teammate Tyler Davis joins him in the top 10, ranked 5th (7.3 per game). Williams also ranks in the top 5 for blocks per game, coming in at No. 2 with 2.4. He trails the leader, Arkansas’ Moses Kingsley (2.6 blocks per game) by a decimal sized margin.

In about of 23 minutes of playing time per game, Williams averages 2.4 blocks, almost 7 rebounds, and almost 11 points. During Tuesday’s loss to Vanderbilt, the young man blocked 2 shots, giving him at least one rejection in 21 consecutive games. That’s a new school record. The previous record of 20 straight was held by David Harris and dated back to 1990.

Fox Sports calls Williams one of the best freshman in the nation. Head coach Billy Kennedy raves about his high “Basketball IQ” and calls him, quote, “the most coachable kid I’ve had in a long time“. But Williams? He tells Fox Sports he only has God to thank for blessing him with the talent, and wingspan, that he has.

What’s Next for Williams & The Aggies?

On Saturday evening, the Aggies will tip off against LSU live from Robert Williams’ home state. Pete Maravich Assembly Center, PMAC as it is referred to at LSU, is about 250 miles from his home town of Shreveport, Louisiana. The game is scheduled to tip  at 8 PM CST, televised on ESPNU and ESPN3.

Next: Is it time to adjust expectations for A&M hoops?

Robert Williams faced the Tigers earlier this season at Reed Arena. a game in which the Aggies downed the Tigers 92-62. The freshman racked up 4 blocks, 6 rebounds, and 12 points in 22 minutes of play during the Aggies first SEC win of the season. This Louisi-animal is drawing big NBA draft talk, but the Aggies hope he’ll stick around for another season or two.

***Stats from SEC Sports, Fox Sports, and Aggie Athletics***