Sorry for the delay in this post. Yesterday was my brother's birthday. Things got a little more out of control than I expected. Tomorrow is my niece's birthday. Then after that, it's my cousin's birthday on Sunday and the following Sunday is another cousin's birthday and then Hulk Hogan has a birthday. I'm in the midst of being swallowed in a sea of August birthdays. Since 2 of my favorite things in the world are giving people presents and cookie cake, I'm not exactly complaining. Today there will be 2 entries on the countdown. The two players have something in common. Let's tackle the first one first.
Field Williams played nearly every game his 4 seasons as a Bearcat. He played 17 minutes a game his UC career. He was a great shooter. So great, in fact, that he's one of the 1,000 point club members. He was one of the greatest 3 point shooters in Bearcat history. He hit 262. He made a little over 40%. He would have been one of the best free throw shooters in school history, but he only attempted 99. Not so bad until you think that he played in 126 games. Field Williams is the only UC player to sign my hat at Midnight Madness. That's why the 2001-02 team was so good. You can think Field.
Field Williams started his UC career off by missing his first 2 shots. In his third game, against Oakland, Field hit 4-10 from the field, 8 of those attempts were 3's, all of the made shots were. He hit a free throw for 13 points. He had one of the best rebounding days of his career, seriously, with 4 and 2 assists. Field hit a 3 against UNLV. He played 29 minutes against Youngstown State. He was 6-12, 4-7, for 16 points in a 9 point UC win. He was one of 3 players with 16 in that game. Field added 5 the next game, then mainly became hit or miss. 0 points, 2 free throws, 0 shots, 3, 3, 3, 0, 3, 5. He played 25 minutes in a 48 point blowout of Tulane. He scored 12 on 4-9 from 3. He scored 6 against DePaul, and added 4 assists. It turned out to be one of his best passing games of his career. Williams didn't score the next 3 games before dropping 3 bombs on Houston. He rattled in a couple against DePaul and then scored 3 points the rest of the regular season and conference tournament. Field hit a 3 in both the BYU and Kent State victories. He missed his only shot against Stanford and UC lost. Coincidence? Yes.
Field Williams was 33-76, 43.4% from the floor his freshman season. He was 28-64, 43.8% from 3. He hit 4 of 5 from the foul line. That added up to 98 points. He pulled in 20 boards, dished out 13 assists and had 1 steal. His stat line was 3.1 points, 0.6 rebounds, 0.4 assists. He averaged 1 field goal a game and 0.9 made 3s a game.
Williams started off his sophomore season not scoring in his first game. He hit a pair of 3s the next game, scored 5 points against UNLV, hit 3 triples against Dayton and had 5 against Duquesne. Field exploded on Coppin State. He took 16 shots in 21 minutes. He was 6-16 from the floor, 5-14 from 3. He added a pair of free throws for a 19 point outing. He went back to erratic with 2 and 6, but drilled 4 threes against ULM for 12 points. After 5 against Missouri State, Field went into a pattern of making 1 3 a game the next 4 contests. He was a dangerous shooter. Louisville found that out the hard way. Williams connected on all 6 of his shots and 1 of 2 free throws. 5 of his shots were 3s. His 18 points carried UC to a big win. Field didn't score the next game, then exploded again. He hit 5-9, 4-6, against USF for 14. He hit 6-14, 6-12, for 18 points in a big win over TCU. He scored 3 in the disappointing loss at Marquette. Field hit 3-5 from 3 in the 103-94 win against Wake Forest. Field did pretty much nothing until the Marquette rematch. In that game, he drilled a pair of 3s that helped in the 63-62 win. He had 13 on 5-10, 1-4, with 5 boards, in the tough loss at Louisville. Williams became a different player in the C-USA tournament. He scored 8 against USF, 9 against Charlotte, and 9 against Marquette as UC won all 3 games. He was on fire to start the NCAA tournament. He hit 5-7, 4-5, for 16 points against Boston, adding in 5 boards. He was ice cold, 1-6, against UCLA. Who knows how much a shot or two would have helped in that game. It still hurts to think about.
As a sophomore, Field Williams hit 72-169, 42.6%. He hit 59-137, 43.1% from 3. He was 13-15 at the foul line. It was a solid progression to 216 points. Williams added 39 boards, 21 assists and 8 steals. That led to a 6.5 points, 1.2 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.2 steal line.
Field became a starter for the rest of his Bearcat career. That still didn't help his first game scoring. He went 2-14, 1-9, in the season opener. He did have 6 rebounds. He turned things around against poor Florida A&M, hitting 7-15, 6-11, 2-2 FTs for 22 points. Field added 7 boards and 4 assists for one of his best stat line games. UC lost to Dayton, but Williams scored 15 on 4-10, 4-9, and 3 FTs. He had a very poor shooting game against Xavier, 4-16, 4-13, for 12 points as UC lost 50-44. He slumped the next game going 3-13, 3-12 for 9 points, then scoreless, followed by 1-7.
Williams picked things up by going on one of his hottest stretches. He drilled 4-6, 3-5, for 11 points against Miami. He was 6-15, 4-13, for 17 points, 4-8, 3-6, for 11 points the next 2 games. Field set his career high of 24 points against TCU. He was 9-18, 6-13 from 3, as UC won by 11. He had 15 and 5 assists against St Louis. He had 17 against Tulane. In both the St Louis and Tulane games, he was 5-10, 4-8. 2 extra free throws changed the scoring. He didn't score against ECU. But the hot streak continued with 15 points, powered by 6-6 at the foul line, in a 4 point win over Charlotte. UC went down to DePaul, but not because of lacking of trying by Field. He had 22 on 7-15, 6-13. He had 22 on 8-17, 3-11, in another close loss to Marquette. Williams had 14 on 5-13, 4-9, in yet another close loss at Louisville.
Field went back into a funk. 3-11, 2-12, 3-11, 1-3 (8-11 free throws), 3-11, 3-10, 2-13, 1-7, 3-10 and 3-9 against Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament. He broke double digits only 3 times the final month of the season. It was the worst cold streak of his career.
The worst cold streak added to the worst shooting year of Field Williams' career. He hit 106-312, 34%. 85-247, 34.4% from 3. He hit a career best in free throws by going 39-43, 91%. That was 336 points. He had 59 rebounds, 23 assists and 11 steals. His stat line was 11.6 points, 2 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.4 steals.
It took until his senior season, but Field Williams finally opened the season with a bang. He scored 12 points with 3 steals in the season opener. He matched his career high of 24 two games later against Coppin State. He did that on 8-12, 8-10, and added in 4 rebounds. Field produced a career best 9 rebounds the following game, just missing out on a double double since he scored 14 points. Williams dropped 17 with 3 steals against Clemson. Field went on a hot streak from 3. He had 9 points on 3-5, 14 points, 3-5, 15 on 3-4, 13 on 3-4, and 14 on 3-6. Those were just the 3s made and attempted. Williams had a career high 5 assists against Elon in that span.
Field started getting a little up and down as conference play started. He was 3-11, 3-9, for 13 points against Marquette, 5-9, 4-6, for 14 points against TCU, 8 points in a 93-66 humilation against Louisville. He had 11 in a turnaround humiliation against Southern Miss, but followed that was 11 in the next 2 games on 4-21, 3-13, shooting. He had only 3 on 4 shots in a loss in the Crosstown Shootout and 5 in a win against Houston. He had 11 on 4-12, 3-10, with 5 assists, but was back in single digits against Wake in a loss.
Williams must have looked at the calender, seen his career was coming to a close and started turning on the engines. He went for 11-4 boards-2 steals to turn things around. He scored 18 on 4-10, 3-7, 7-8 from the foul line, with 5 assists in a 66-61 win over Louisville. He shot St Louis out of the building, going 7-14, 6-12, for 20 points. Williams had 15 on 4-9, 3-7, 4-4 FTs in a close win at Charlotte. Field had 14 at DePaul, 4-7 from 3, in a close loss. He closed the regular season in style. On senior day against Memphis, Field was 6-11, 4-5, for 16 points.
You would think after that streak to close the regular season, Field would tear up the C-USA tournament. You would be wrong. He went for 5 points on 2-6, 6 points on 2-8 and 7 points on 2-5. UC won the whole thing so that was good. Field changed that for the NCAA tournament. He didn't have a great shooting game, 6-15, but he was 5-13 from 3 and 2-2 at the line, with 4 boards, 4 assists and 2 steals with his 19 points in the 80-77 win over East Tennessee St. That was also the game that put him over the 1,000 point threshold. Field was the Bearcats leading scorer against Illinois with 16 points on 6-13, 4-8, but UC was railroaded 92-68.
Field set career highs in a lot of things his senior season. He made a career best 130 field goals in 299 attempts for a career best 43.5%. He hit 90 threes, career high, in 206 tries for 43.7%. He was 30-36, 83% at the foul line. He scored 380 points. He had 79 rebounds, 69 assisst and 27 steals, all career highs. That ended in a 11.9, 2.4 rebound, 2.2 assist, 0.8 steal stat line.
Why He Made the List
Field was one of the best shooters in UC history. He still is. He was a player who started off as a guy off the bench who would throw up 3s every time. He turned himself into a more complete player. He was a leader of a team that made the NCAA tournament. He hit big shots. He was a 2 year starter. Plus, he was a fan favorite and a personal favorite. That earns you points on lists like these.
Field Williams was not a perfect player by any means. You could argue that he should be lower on the list. But the fact he has been gone for 8 years and is still fondly remembered by the fan base is a sign that he had a great career. He was a very memorable player during a very memorable time in UC's basketball history. His legacy will last longer than some others under him on the list.
What He's Doing Now
Last I saw, Field was playing in Europe and in failed leagues in America. I'm sure he is playing somewhere. I asked Lenny Stokes on twitter 'whatever happened to Field Williams?' and he said he didn't know. If Lenny Stokes doesn't know, no one does. But if you somehow do, drop a line in the comments or on twitter.