Fayetteville – Jaylin Williams, who completed his sophomore season at Arkansas, became the 41st razorback to be selected in the NBA Draft when the Oklahoma City Thunder selected a 6–10 forward in the fourth pick of the second round (34th overall pick).
He is the first Razorback the Thunder to be selected in the NBA Draft and becomes the 16th most picked player in Williams school history. (Note: Dean Tolson was selected in the fifth round by the Seattle SuperSonics, becoming the Thunder in the 1974 NBA Draft.)
“We would like to congratulate Jaylin on being drafted by Oklahoma City,” said head coach Eric Musselman. “He’s going to be a great fit with the Thunder. He’s a player who should be able to come on and contribute quickly because of his high basketball IQ, ability to rebound, and his game on the dribble-handoff. Jaylin and his family Our staff is very happy for this.
It marks the fourth-straight year the Razorbacks have been taken to the NBA Draft, joining fellow Arkansas natives Daniel Gafford, Isaiah Joe and Moses Moody. Joe, Moody and Williams played for Musselman, and Joe and Williams were high school teammates at Fort Smith Northside.
Williams, nominated to athletics This past season the All-Glue team helped Arkansas make back-to-back NCAA Elite 8 appearances. In 2021-22, he established himself as one of the country’s top defensive players, one of the country’s top rebounders and one of the top passing bigs.
He was named a Lefty Dreisel Defensive All-American and was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team. He led the NCAA in 2021-22 with 54 charges, while leading the Razorbacks in charges with 16 taken as a freshman.
Williams ranked fifth in the nation in total rebounds with a school-record 364, sixth in the NCAA in defensive rebounds (8.32), and 19th in the NCAA in total rebounds per game (9.84). In addition, he finished 15th in the NCAA by collecting 16 doubles, including a streak of seven straight games in the final 23 games.
He finished third in the team with 95 assists in 16 games with three or more assists.
Williams was additionally named a First Team All-SEC by the league’s coaches—the second team by the media—and was named to the NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team. Williams also earned two-time SEC Player of the Week honors and was a member of the USBWA and NABC All-District teams.
Williams averaged 10.9 points and 9.8 rebounds last season, a significant improvement in his new campaign when he averaged 3.7 points and 4.7 rebounds.
Williams was part of Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman’s inaugural and highly-publicized recruiting class. The consensus top-five group also includes the first and final lottery pick by the 2022 NBA champion Golden State Warriors of Moody, Arkansas.
This is the fourth year in a row that Coach Musselman has drafted a player including Cody Martin (in Nevada), Joe, Moody and Williams.
Jaylin Williams 2021-22 Honors
- All-Glue Team (1 of 6) by The Athletic (Seth Davis)
- Lefty Dreisel Defensive All-America Team (1 of 31) by CollegeInsider.com
- NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team
- All-District VII by USBWA (a 10-person team)
- Second Team All-District 20 by NABC (10 players awarded in total)
- SEC All-Defensive Team (Coach)
- First Team All-SEC (Coach)
- Second Team All-SEC (Associated Press)
- SEC Co-Player of the Week (January 24)
- SEC Co-Player of the Week (February 21)