Rick Barnes wants Grant Williams to improve on conditioning, rebounding

Rick Barnes wants Grant Williams to improve on conditioning, rebounding

Basketball

Rick Barnes wants Grant Williams to improve on conditioning, rebounding

KNOXVILLE — Rick Barnes discussed areas that he would like for Grant Williams to improve on this season following being named the 2018 SEC Player of the Year.

Conditioning is one area.

“What I wanted him to focus on was getting better in every area,” Barnes said at Tennessee’s media day. “I will always talk about conditioning with all our guys, I think that part is important and I think you can always take that to another level. You have got to be smart how you do it, but I think that really will continue to be a big part for him, to where he can play longer, harder, smarter.

“I watch it every day, when guys get fatigued, they break down, they forget the details. You have them where they make bad decisions with the ball to just try to get the play over with and Grant has a tendency to do that when he’s tired. So the fact is that he is going to have to defend better, smarter, because he has definitely got a target on his back. People are going to make him guard, put him in positions where they are going to go at him in that way. So he is going to have to be able to defend ball screens without fouling, he is going to have to do his work early in the post without fouling.”

Another area that Barnes would like to see Williams improve on is becoming better at rebounding. Williams averaged 5.9 rebounds per game as a freshman in 2016-17 and 6.0 last season.

“I would like to see him rebound more,” Barnes said. “I think Grant Williams should be a double digit rebounder, and he hasn’t done that in the two years he has been here. That’s something he should really want to add this year where he is a much more consistent rebounder.”

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