When a player shifts from defense to offense, it should follow that their statistics reflect the change, scoring more goals and all that jazz.
But when Zed Williams made the switch in his sophomore season, it meant Lyle Thompson and Randy Staats saw their points totals go up, as well.
Granted, he wasn’t the only reason why Lyle and Staats saw marked improvements in their offensive outputs from the 2017-18 season to the 2018-19 season. But when you take a look at why their numbers jumped and the new pieces in the offensive system, it’s simple math to see what Williams does and know that’s the game-changer.
“Zed sets a pick, and those are man picks. No one’s fighting through it when Zed goes to set a seal on someone,” Swarm assistant coach Dan Ladouceur said. “That’s really valuable, and for guys like Lyle and Randy, when he sets those effective picks and uses his size and strength, those are two steps those guys can get their hands free, and that’s what makes them dangerous. Their productivity is a direct result of Zed’s ability to read the floor, read defenders, and set effective picks.”
Since moving out the front door, Williams’ point production increased 33 points, Lyle’s by 19, and Staats by 25. That’s an extra 77 points throughout a season from one player changing positions and getting his reps in.
Photo Credit: Kyle Hess
“Credit to (Swarm head coach) Eddie (Comeau) to have the vision to say, ‘You know what, here’s a guy with all kinds of potential. We need to reevaluate how we’re using him,’” Ladouceur noted.
That reevaluation paid dividends in ways no one could have predicted, something Williams will surely want to build off on.
Stop Being Unselfish
Nobody wants Williams to change his selfless ways, especially considering how much his teammates benefited from it. About the only thing the coaches wanted more from Williams was to shoot his shots.
It was a message they spoke to him about a few times throughout the season, and Williams’ second half of his sophomore campaign demonstrated why.
Over the first nine games of the season, Williams tallied a 14.06 S%, nine goals on 64 shots. In the back half, the University of Virginia product was getting more shots on net, and his shooting percentage jumped up 7.61%.
It’s hard to say you want a guy that shot 17.74% to shoot more, but that’s how good Williams is. An offense can build a lot around him, and Williams can use his successes this season as a springboard to become a top forward in the NLL.
2018-19 Player Capsules:
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