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2017 NBA Draft Profile: Does Nigel Williams-Goss have the skillset for the NBA

Can Gonzaga’s floor leader find a spot in the NBA?

NCAA Basketball: Final Four Championship Game-Gonzaga vs North Carolina Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One of the things that made Gonzaga so good this year was their depth, but Nigel Williams-Goss was the engine that made them go. The junior point guard made a major impact on the Bulldogs with a well-rounded game that allowed him to do whatever Gonzaga needed on a given night.

However, Williams-Goss isn’t a lock to be selected in the NBA Draft this summer. The former McDonald’s All-American is projected by many mock drafts to go in the second round, or even undrafted. He falls into the trap of being good at multiple things, but not great at any. Nonetheless, Williams-Goss brings some things to the table that can help NBA teams.


For a point guard, Nigel Williams-Goss brings great size for his position. At 6’3” with a 6’6” wingspan, he fits the mold of what a NBA point guard might look like. He’s able to use that size to help him survey the floor with solid court vision, and he averaged five assists per game during his career. That size also helps him be effective on the glass. Williams-Goss pulled down six rebounds per game last season for Gonzaga, which is a great mark for the position.

He was a calm, steady floor general for the Bulldogs, and he can bring much of the same to an NBA team. He brings a solid handle, and is capable of dribbling through traffic or against a press. He’s not going to break a defender down with a flurry of crossovers, but he’s exactly the type of guy that can be a reliable ball-handler on a second unit.

Lastly, Williams-Goss continues to show improvement as a shooter. He knocked in a career high 36.8 percent of his threes last season, and knocked in 86.7 percent of his free throws on nearly five attempts per game. It’s unlikely that he becomes a high percentage, high volume shooter, but continued improvement is a good sign for his hopes.


The biggest knock on Williams-Goss, other than his age, will be his athleticism. He isn’t an explosive athlete, which will hurt him as the game speeds up and NBA guards are able to use that to their advantage. His lack of lateral quickness will be a hindrance when he’s trying to contain quicker guards.

He also can be turnover prone at times. Although there were games when he took care of the ball very well, he also committed three or more turnovers in 15 games. Ball security will be important for him if he wants to make a roster.

Lastly, his age doesn’t help him. He turns 23 in September, and the fact of the matter is that younger prospects will almost always have an advantage over their elder peers. It’s to no fault of his own, that’s just the nature of the draft.


Given his experience and skillset, Williams-Goss will land on at least a summer league roster one way or another. He will likely be a mid-to-late second round pick, but will for sure at least get a deal for the summer league if he goes undrafted.