Kam Williams' 2017 motto - 'Just keep shooting'

Nick McWilliams, Staff Writer
Buckeye Grove

Kam Williams has an interesting solution to his consistency issues from last season.

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USA Today Sports Images

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Last season was not a great one for the Ohio State men's basketball program. The offseason became a bit of a roller coaster ride, from the firing of Thad Matta to the escapades and eventual departure of JaQuan Lyle.

The Buckeyes roster has been shaken up, and new coach Chris Holtman has wasted little time in implementing his scheme in Columbus. With official practice starting Saturday, Ohio State is returning three of it's top-six scorers form last year — Jae'Sean Tate, Keita Bates-Diop and Kam Williams.

The interesting part of the list is Bates-Diop being the fifth-highest scorer on the team, just ahead of Williams. Bates-Diop appeared in just nine games due to injury, compared to 32 games for Williams.

One of the biggest problems for Ohio State's trigger-happy guard is inconsistency. Williams could go from scoring 23 points and being on target for an entire game to missing the mark wildly and having an extremely limited impact on offense.

After putting forth his worst career field goal percentage last year while attempting the third most shots per game, Williams said Wednesday that the new coaching staff wants him to do one thing to improve.

"Keep shooting, no matter what. Just keep shooting," he said. "Those games where I was off, I was hesitating. I was thinking about it. So, no matter what, if I'm open, keep shooting. And that's what the coaches have been telling me. We don't care if you go 0-for-30. We don't care if you go 30-for-30. We know what you can do, so just keep shooting, no matter what."

Williams was responsible for a large chunk of the perimeter scoring for Ohio State, but also took the second most three-point shots per game, converting on 37 percent of them, a disappointing number after Williams drained 43 percent of his perimeter shots in 2015.

Even with a less productive year in terms of efficiency last season, Williams is remaining confident in his play-making and scoring abilities. He credits his confidence to his coaches and his teammates for showing him encouragement, even when his shot is off.

"That's always good to hear, that you've got someone else to lean on. And somebody else taking on the slack," he said." I've definitely felt like I've let my team down some games, like you said. So just seeing that and hearing that makes me want to play that much better."

With official practice starting Saturday, Williams also said he had been spending some time at the point guard position, but could not definitively say how much he would be playing during the season. According to him, C.J. Jackson and Jae'Sean Tate have also been practicing taking the ball up the court.

No matter what role Williams is placed in, looks like fans will still be seeing plenty of chances for the redshirt senior to pull out his "three" fingers in celebration.

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