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What Bryce Williams’ Return Means for OSU Hoops

Big news for OSU hoops in 2021-22.



Mike Boynton reeled in his second Bryce of the offseason on Monday as Bryce Williams, the Ole Miss transfer who played last season for the Pokes as a senior, and who was recently mulling whether to stay in college or turn pro, announced he is coming back to the Cowboys for one more run.

Williams joins Bryce Thompson as the second Bryce to officially be on the 2021-22 roster.

Here’s what it means for next season.

1. Veteran presence on a young (ish) team

OK, OK, so this OSU team isn’t Kentucky young. Avery Anderson is a junior, Kalib and Keylan Boone are juniors and Isaac Likekele is a senior. But incoming transfers Bryce Thompson, Tyreek Smith and Woody Newton are all sophomores. Williams is the super senior of the bunch whose college experience last season paid huge dividends, and whose experience this season should be a stabilizing presence on a young team that will be remaking itself significantly this offseason.

2. Bryce Williams knows his role

Bryce Williams knows who he is. He is Bryce Williams, not Bryce Thompson. He’s not going to get out of his world and take 20 shots in a game or start launching pull-up 3s from 30 feet because he’s feeling it. He’s a role player, and a really good one to boot. On a team with Avery Anderson and Bryce Thompson and Kalib Boone, that’s important. He’s going to embrace his role as a defender who shoots when open but doesn’t try to do too much.

3. One more spot left

Bryce Williams qualifies for the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility that doesn’t count towards OSU’s scholarship number. That means OSU, which had one spot to offer before his decision, still has one spot to offer after his decision.

It remains unclear where that spot will go — and with most prospects already committed from this year’s recruiting class the options don’t seem to be plentiful — but it does appear that OSU still intends to use that spot potentially on a bench player who could provide a boost for next year’s team. So, in the end, it’s a win to retain a veteran for next year while keeping roster flexibility to add another body with the final scholarship spot.

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