Where Grant Williams Finishes in Tennessee’s Record Books

    by -

    (Photo via Tennessee Athletics)

    Grant Williams announced on Friday of last week that he’s keeping his name in the 2019 NBA Draft pool and will officially forgo his senior season at Tennessee. The Vols’ star forward feels he got enough positive feedback from NBA scouts and those present at the NBA Combine that he can go ahead and pursue a professional career in the NBA.

    The two-time SEC Player of the Year and consensus First-Team All-American had a decorated career at Tennessee, and it’s time to take a look at where Williams finishes in Tennessee’s record books.

    Not only is Williams one of only a few Vols ever to win the SEC Player of the Year award twice and also be named a consensus First-Team All-American, but he finishes his three-year Tennessee career with some UT records and inside the top five and top 10 of many season and career categories.

    Here’s a look at where Grant Williams finished his career in Tennessee’s men’s basketball record books.

    Game

    Most Free Throws Made – 23

    Most Consecutive Free Throws Made – 23

    Tied for Most Free Throws Attempted – 23

    5th-Most Points – 43

    In Tennessee’s 88-83 overtime victory over Vanderbilt in Nashville on January 23rd, Grant Williams had himself a career day and set multiple school records in the process.

    Williams set the school record for most consecutive free throws made and most free throws made in a single game when he connected on 23-straight free throws against the Commodores. He finished the game a perfect 23-of-23 from the charity stripe, also tying the school record for most free throws attempted in a game. All those previous free throw records were held by Bill Justus when he made 22 of 23 free throws against Ohio in 1969, including 18-straight makes at one point.

    In that same game, Williams scored a career-high 43 points. In the process, Williams tied four Vol legends for the fifth-most points scored in a single game in UT history. Allan Houston, Ernie Grunfeld, Bernard King, and Reggie Johnson all also dropped 43 points in a single game in their Tennessee careers. Those were also career-high performances for those four Vols.

    Season

    2nd-Most Free Throws Made – 213

    2nd-Most Free Throws Attempted – 260

    Williams got to the line more than anyone on Tennessee’s team this past season, and he almost set a school record for both free throws made and free throws attempted in a single season. The 213 makes from the free throw line for Williams finished behind only Carl Widseth’s 222 makes in the 1955-56 season. Widseth also holds the school record for most free throws attempted in a season with 288 in that same 1955-56 campaign.

    Most Free Throws Made by a Junior – 213

    Most Free Throws Attempted by a Junior – 260

    No other junior player in Tennessee history has made or attempted more free throws than Williams did this past season. The previous record-holder as a junior was Allan Houston for free throws made (189) and Jarnell Stokes for free throws attempted (230).

    6th-Most Points – 696

    Williams led both Tennessee and the entire SEC in points per game this season, and that resulted in the star forward finishing just outside the top five in school history for most points in a season. Williams finished four points shy of 700 points in a season, and his 696 points were just three shy of passing Reggie Johnson’s 698 points in the 1978-79 season for the fifth-most in a season.

    8th-Most Minutes Played – 1180

    Tennessee relied on Williams to be on the floor a ton as a junior, and he ended up logging the eighth-most minutes in a single season in school history. There were nine different times this season where Williams played 35 or more minutes in a game, and he totaled at least 30 minutes on the court in all but 11 games.

    Career

    3rd-Most Blocks – 160

    2nd-Best Blocks Per Game – 1.54

    Most Blocks in Three-Year Career – 160

    When Vol fans think of Grant Williams, his ability as a blocker may not be the first thing that springs to mind. But Williams finished his Tennessee career as one of the most potent shot-blockers in school history. Williams’ 160 career rejections finish behind only CJ Black’s 212 blocks and Kyle Alexander’s 185 blocks. The 1.54 blocks per game that Williams averaged is second only to Black’s career average of 1.80 rejections a game, and Williams had more blocks in his three years than any other three-year player in UT history. Williams smashed that record, as Marcus Haislip previously held that mark with 116 blocks in his three years at Tennessee. Williams also holds the school record for most blocks as a freshman when he totaled 61 in the 2016-17 campaign.

    3rd-Most Free Throws Attempted – 661

    4th-Most Free Throws Made – 501

    Most Free Throws Made in a Three-Year Career – 501

    Most Free Throws Attempted in a Three-Year Career – 661

    Again, Williams’ ability to get to the free throw line and knock down his free throw attempts have rarely been matched in Tennessee history. Williams finishes third in school history in most free throws attempted in a career and fourth in most free throws made. Not only that, but no other three-year player in school history put up the type of free throw numbers that Williams did. In fact, Williams obliterated those records. Bernard King previously held the program record for most free throws made in a three-year career with 340, and Jarnell Stokes had the record for most free throws attempted in a three-year career with 489 before Williams broke it.

    4th-Most Offensive Rebounds Per Game – 2.471

    7th-Most Offensive Rebounds – 257

    Tennessee began officially recognizing offensive rebounds as a stat starting in the 1996-97 season, but few players in the over 20 years prior to Williams’ time at Tennessee had better success at grabbing offensive rebounds per game. Williams finished mere thousandths of a point behind CJ Black for the third-most offensive rebounds per game average. Black corralled an average of 2.475 offensive boards a game while Williams nabbed 2.471 a game. Williams also finished his UT career with the seventh-most offensive rebounds in a career.

    9th-Most 30-Point Games – 5

    In his 104 games as a Vol, Grant Williams eclipsed the 30-point mark five different times. That tied him with Ed Weiner and Carl Widseth for the ninth-most 30-point performances in a Tennessee career. Williams is one of only 10 Vols to ever score 40 points in a game as well.

    12th-most points – 1,629

    With his strong junior season, Williams moved inside the top-15 all-time in career points at Tennessee. His 1,629 career points are the most scored by a Vol in a career since Chris Lofton accumulated 2,131 points in his four-year career from 2004-08. Williams is one of only 14 Vols ever to score 1,600 or more points in a career, and he and teammate Admiral Schofield were two of only 18 Vols ever to score 1,500 or more points in a UT career. Williams is one of nine Vols to score 1,600 points and bring down 600 rebounds in a career.