A day before Iowa’s exhibition opener against William Jewell College, news broke that junior guard Christian Williams will transfer after this semester, citing wanting to be closer to home (Decatur, IL) as the reason. He plans to finish his academic semester at Iowa.
Christian Williams transfer news is official pic.twitter.com/J8fmgFZz5h— Blair Sanderson (@BlairRIVALS) October 27, 2017
During the off-season, there were rumors that Williams might transfer. But he played on Iowa’s Europe trip, averaging six points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, and the rumors died down. That, along with the timing (Iowa plays its first exhibition game tomorrow and its first real game in two weeks), makes this announcement surprising.
Williams started the first six games as a sophomore last season before Jordan Bohannon took over. In the final 28 games, he played fewer than 20 minutes in all but three games. He scored 10 points once against Indiana and had three steals against Michigan State, Rutgers and Delaware State.
Williams averaged 2.4 points, 1.6 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game on 34.8 percent shooting in 12.8 minutes per game last season. His length and size (6-6, 200 pounds) helped him average 0.8 steals per game and lead the team with 2.4 steals per 40 minutes.
Even with Williams’ versatility on defense, his offense would have kept him in a limited role on a very deep team. He was expected to compete for playing time as Bohannon’s backup with Brady Ellingson and play some shooting guard.
It’s hard to tell what role Williams would have had this season. Either way, this means Iowa’s thinnest position is now even thinner, with Ellingson as Bohannon’s presumed backup now — a healthy Bohannon is more important than ever. Williams’ transfer, especially coming right before the season, could lead to Fran McCaffery pulling Connor McCaffery’s redshirt this season to have him compete for playing time as Bohannon’s backup. Maishe Dailey is also another option off the bench.
We wish him the best of luck wherever he ends up.