Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebrasketball Film Study: Charlotte Transfer Brice Williams

May 04, 2023

Nebraska needed a bucket-getter with its two main playmakers in Sam Griesel and Derrick Walker exhausting their eligibility, and that’s what Fred Hoiberg found in Charlotte transfer Brice Williams, who announced his commitment on April 12.

The 6-foot-7, 215-pound wing led the 49ers with 13.8 points per game on 47.9% shooting including 39.7% from 3 this past season. Diving even deeper with the help of Synergy Sports, Williams scored 1.053 points per possession (PPP), which is ranked in the 89th percentile and considered “excellent.”

Williams is even better in halfcourt settings, scoring 1.073 PPP (93rd percentile, “excellent”). He wasn’t particularly effective in transition for the 49ers, but that only consisted of 33 possessions (7.6%) and he shot 11-of-25 including 0-of-5 from 3 with twice as many turnovers (six) as fouls drawn.

The strength of Williams’ game is his jump shot, though he’s a very well-rounded scorer. On catch-and-shoot jumpers, Williams shot 36.9% with all but three of his attempts coming from deep, scoring 1.10 PPP (68th percentile, “very good”). On unguarded catch-and-shoot opportunities, he shot 43.1% and scored 1.27 PPP (73rd percentile, “very good”). That percentage dropped to 32.4% on guarded jumpers, though his 0.97 PPP is ranked in the 56th percentile and considered “good.”

He’s also a very capable shooter off the bounce, shooting 43.4% and scoring 0.97 PPP (81st percentile, “very good”). He went 8-for-22 (36.4%) from 3 and 25-for-54 (46.3%) inside the arc. On all jumpers, he shot 50% out to 17 feet (1.0 PPP, 89th percentile, “excellent”) and 43.4% from 17 feet out to the 3-point line (0.87 PPP, 74th percentile, “very good”).

Williams isn’t a terribly explosive athlete, but he has great positional size and touch and uses his tools well around the basket. He shot 65.3% at the rim overall, scoring 1.31 PPP (79th percentile, “very good”), but he also missed seven of his 24 dunk attempts. He has good touch on his runner, shooting 7-of-13 (1.08 PPP, 93rd percentile, “excellent”) as well as his hook shot, shooting 5-of-10 (1.0 PPP, 79th percentile, “very good”).

I’m giving you all these numbers to paint the picture of the kind of shooter Williams is, and with that baseline established, let’s break down the different ways he puts that touch (along with his physical tools and feel for the game) to good use.


Just north of a quarter of Williams’ possessions last season were classified as spot-ups by Synergy. As a reminder, spot-up possessions include both catch-and-shoot jumpers and possessions involving attacking closeouts. He scored 0.946 PPP (58th percentile, “good”) while shooting 36% overall. He was very good inside the arc at 52.2%, but he shot a surprisingly low 31.2% from 3. He shot the ball off the catch on 71 possessions and put it on the deck on the other 40.

To be perfectly honest, Williams missed a lot of really good spot-up looks from 3, which is a bit baffling considering the rest of his shooting metrics. He does a good job of shot prep, getting his feet set and his shoulders squared, and he has a high release that makes it difficult for defenders to contest. The ball just didn’t go in nearly as often as it should have for whatever reason.

When Williams does put the ball on the deck, he’s usually looking to get to his mid-range pull-up — for good reason. He shot 8-of-12 on this mid-range jumpers in spot-up situations compared to just 2-of-5 at the rim (he also went 3-for-6 on floaters).

Here’s a look at what Williams is capable of in spot-up situations.


Again, that pull-up jumper is tough to defend. Hoiberg isn’t a huge fan of those shots, but I think he can live with it if Williams continues to hit them at the rate he did last season.

Pick-and-Roll Ball-Handler

Williams’ second most common play type was handling the ball in the pick-and-roll, accounting for 12.7% of his possessions. He scored 0.764 PPP (52nd percentile, “good”) and shot 39% overall (40% on 2s, 2-of-6 on 3s). He sported a 7.3% free-throw rate, though he also turned the ball over 18.2% of the time.

Just like in spot-up situations, Williams primarily looked to get to his mid-range pull-up out of ball screen situations, and he shot 8-of-17 on that shot. On the rare occasions that he did get all the way to the rim he shot 4-of-7, but more often than not he had to settle for an in-between shot and he went just 2-of-9 on floater-type looks.

Synergy logged another 17 ball screen possessions where his passes led to shot attempts, though his teammates shot just 6-of-15 from the field on those plays. Williams is definitely a shoot-first player, but he also showed enough vision and IQ to make simple passing reads and put the ball on the money when teammates came open, wether it be his screener popping, another player spacing to the 3-point line or a secondary cutter after he draws the defense.

Heres a look at all the ways Williams can make plays out of ball screen situations.


Williams probably isn’t going to be Nebraska’s primary playmaker, but his ability to be a secondary initiator and use ball screens will be a valuable tool in Hoiberg’s tool box next season.

Off Screen

Williams’ effectiveness coming off screens is one of those shooting data points that makes his struggles with spot-up 3s so confusing. Charlotte ran him off screens on 11.1% of his possessions and he scored 1.292 PPP (92nd percentile, “excellent”). He shot 44.4% overall including a blistering 47.2% (17-of-36) on 3-pointers.

Again, Williams does a great job of shot prep, using good footwork on the move to get his base under him and square himself to the basket, as you can see in the compilation below.


Notice all the different types of screens that Charlotte set for him. I think Hoiberg is going to have a lot of fun coming up with actions to get Williams open for 3s next season.


In addition to being a terrific shooter, Williams is a very smart cutter who reads his defender well to get himself easy buckets. Cutting made up 10.9% of his possessions and he scored 1.447 PPP (88th percentile, “excellent”), shooting 73.2% from the field with a 17% free-throw rate.

Williams does a good job diving off post touches to give his big man a passing option, and whether it’s a read or simply a designed action, he slipped plenty of off-ball screens to get himself easy layups or dunks. He uses his body well around the basket to keep defenders at bay and create scoring opportunities.


While the two are very different from a physical standpoint, while watching these clips I see a lot of the same strengths that made Keisei Tominaga so effective over the second half of this past season. I can envision Hoiberg calling a lot of the same plays for Williams as he did for Tominaga, which could make things very difficult on opposing defenses if Tominaga returns and shares the court with him.


If you haven’t picked up on this by now, Williams is an incredibly well-rounded offensive player who can score in many different ways. That includes post-ups, which made up 10% of his possessions. He scored 0.977 PPP (76th percentile, “very good”) while shooting 48.4%, earning a trip to the foul line at an 18.6% rate and turning the ball over at an 11.6% clip.

Williams does most of his work in the mid-post rather than starting on the block and is comfortable either backing his man down or facing him up. He likes the face-up or turnaround jumper but can also finish at the rim with either hand as he showed the ability to score over his right shoulder with a left-handed baby hook. He has solid footwork and is strong enough to get to his spots.


Whereas I saw a lot of Tominaga in his shooting and cutting, I see a bit of Griesel in his ability to go to work in the post.


Williams was also an effective isolation creator for Charlotte last season. Between his own offense and his passing, he logged 40 total isolation possessions on Synergy (9.3%). Individually, he scored 1.125 PPP on 32 possessions (91st percentile, “excellent”) and shot 52.4% with a 21.9% free-throw rate, though he also turned it over on 15.6% of those possessions. He shot 8-of-16 on 2s and 3-of-5 on 3s.

Again, Williams isn’t terribly dynamic with the ball in his hands, so he doesn’t generate a ton of easy looks in isolation. However, his ability to hit tough shots really shines through in this area as he knows how to get to his spots to get off the mid-range shot. He does a good job of reading his defender and will give the ball up if he draws help.


We’ll have to see how his ISO game translates to the Big Ten, but he definitely looks like someone who can be an option when the clock’s winding down and someone has to get off a shot.


I’m not going to include a video compilation here because handoffs only accounted for 20 of his possessions (4.6%), but this is another reason why he’s such a good fit for Hoiberg’s offense. He scored 1.10 PPP (83rd percentile, “very good”) and shot 47.4% including 4-of-8 from deep on handoff plays. He does a good job of reading the defense, getting to his pull-up if the defender chases over the top or firing away from 3 if the defender goes under the handoff.


On the defensive end of the floor, Williams certainly has some limitations (most notably, his lateral quickness). However, he works hard on that end and was part of a Charlotte team that wasn’t bad on defense, although it wasn’t great either at 119th overall in adjusted defensive efficiency on KenPom (sixth in Conference USA).

In off-ball situations, Williams is always looking to be in help in help, tagging roll men and digging in on ball-handlers. In spot-up situations, he does a good job of closing out and keeping his hands up to contest shots. He isn’t terribly quick and doesn’t change directions super well, which opens him up to getting beat on closeouts. However, he does work hard to move his feet and stay in front as best he can.

In ball screen situations, he generally tries to fight over the top, although he isn’t always able to get back in front and cut off the drive when he does so. He’s better in isolation where he doesn’t have to close out or navigate screens, and you can again see him moving his feet and anticipating where his man is going or what he’s trying to do. He does a good job of showing his hands and using his length to be disruptive rather than committing cheap hand-check fouls. Down low, opposing post players can often finish over or through him, although his length allowed him to get a hand on a couple of shots and deflect the ball to force turnovers a bit. Opposing offenses can take advantage of his desire to play help defense as he often got caught on flare screens and gave up open looks.


In general, Williams is a fundamentally sound defender who works hard. He isn’t terribly quick, and Hoiberg probably won’t want him guarding the opposing team’s best wing, but his size gives Nebraska the flexibility to let Juwan Gary take on the tougher assignment between the opponent’s three and four while Williams takes the other guy, similar to how Sam Griesel often defended opposing forwards last season.

In general, Williams’ film shows a guy who can bring a lot to Nebraska next season within Hoiberg’s offense. He’s a three-level scorer who can impact the game in a lot of different ways, and I think Hoiberg is going to have some fun coming up with ways to take advantage of his versatile skill set.

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