Jaylin Williams invited to 2022 NBA Draft Combine
Arkansas sophomore forward Jaylin Williams has received an invite to the 2022 NBA Draft Combine scheduled to be held in Chicago (Ill.) from May 16-22, marking the fifth consecutive year a Razorback has received an invitation to the event. The news was first reported by Adam Zagoria.
After leading the Hogs to consecutive Elite Eights, the 6-10 natives of Fort Smith (Ark.) announced he would test the draft waters on April 4, but did not hire an agent, leaving the door open for a potential return to Arkansas for the 2022-23 campaign. Williams has since been training in Miami (Fla.) While gathering feedback on his professional stock of him.
The combine is the marquee showcase event of the spring, where roughly 60 of the top draft-eligible prospects meet under one roof to showcase their skills in front of scouts and front office personnel from all 30 NBA franchises. Williams is eligible to participate in the combine as well as any individual team interviews or workouts without jeopardizing his collegiate eligibility.
Earning an invite to the combine was an expected happening for Williams, who is listed as the No. 45 overall draft prospect according to ESPN draft analysts Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz.
Williams has until June 1 to decide whether to remain in the draft or return to Fayetteville for his junior season. The 2022 NBA Draft is scheduled to take place June 23 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (NY).
Arkansas’ roster is currently full at the 13 scholarship maximum for 2022-23, and a return from Williams would require some maneuvering, but there is no doubt Musselman would make the necessary room to welcome back a player who has been a cornerstone piece for the Razorbacks the past two seasons.
Williams earned first-team All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive Team honors following a stellar 2021-22 campaign in which he averaged 10.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game on 46.1 percent shooting from the field and a 72.9 percent clip from the charity stripe. He also added 95 assists, 54 charges, 48 steals and 41 blocks to his loaded box score and now owns the single-season rebounding record at Arkansas. Williams finished with 16 double-doubles on the season.
As the competition heated up, so did Williams. In SEC play, his output from him increased to averages of 13.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. He scored a career-high 22 points at Alabama in February and pulled down a personal-best 16 boards in a home win over Tennessee.
Williams averaged 14.25 points and 11.75 rebounds in four NCAA Tournament games — logging double-doubles in each — for the Razorbacks, which was good enough to earn him a spot on the NCAA Tournament All-West Region Team. He finished with 15 points and 12 boards in Arkansas’ thrilling Sweet 16 victory over top-overall seed Gonzaga and followed up with 19 points and 10 boards against Duke in the Elite Eight.
Last season as a true freshman, Williams burst onto the scene, going from reserve to starter by the time March Madness rolled around, averaging 3.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game for the Hogs. He grabbed 10 rebounds in a Round of 32 win over Texas Tech and finished with 8 points and 4 boards in the Elite Eight against Baylor.
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