FDU's Elyjah Williams transferring to Northwestern
Head coach Chris Collins dipped into the Northeast Conference to find the newest Wildcat.
Elyjah Williams announced his commitment to Northwestern on Monday afternoon as a grad transfer.
Williams, an Evanston native, spent the last four seasons at Fairleigh Dickinson, where he averaged 9.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. This past season, he averaged 13.9 points and 7.6 rebounds on 55.6% shooting from the field and 42% from beyond the arc.
Williams is exactly what Northwestern needs. He's an inch taller and five pounds heavier than Miller Kopp, who recently departed the program. While it remains to be seen how proficient a scorer he will be in the Big Ten, he is a more efficient shooter than Kopp, as well as a superior athlete who figures to be better on defense and on the glass.
Williams' competitiveness and toughness are reminiscent of Anthony Gaines. He doesn't give up anything easy on defense and battles for every rebound.
Williams also brings something else that Northwestern's roster is sorely lacking: NCAA tournament experience. Fairleigh Dickinson was a 16-seed his sophomore year and they beat Prairie View A&M in the first four, with Williams posting seven points and eight boards. In the next round, they faced No. 1 seed Gonzaga and Williams had 10 and seven.
The Big Ten is quite a step up from the NEC, so Williams may not be able to replicate his production. But this past season, FDU played a pair of power-six conference teams: Rutgers and Providence. He struggled with foul trouble against the Scarlet Knights, only playing 24 minutes and finishing with six points, five rebounds and four assists. The game against Providence was a different story, as Williams had 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists on 60% shooting.
Regardless of what numbers Williams ends up with offensively next season at Northwestern, his defense and rebounding will be a welcome addition to the Wildcats.