Bryce Wills was the youngest player in the Pac-12, and one of the youngest in the entire country. He came to campus after a summer with Team USA, but was still raw. For the season he averaged 6/3.5/2.0 on .426/.267/.556 splits.
His defense flashed from day one and he immediately earned a spot in the rotation. With his length, athleticism, quickness, and high motor, Wills bothered a laundry list of offensive talents. When he got his offense going, he was a real X-factor.
In games where Bryce Wills scored 10 or more points, the Cardinal went 7-2. During Stanford’s best stretch of the season, when they won 5 out of 6 games, Wills showed his best offensive consistency and dynamism. He had a season-high 16 points in the win at Cal, and provided a spark to the team when he got comfortable.
Bryce has the chance to be a real difference maker this year. His shooting will have to improve, at least to where opponents must respect him. His foul shooting will also need to get better. He could partially fill Okpala’s shoes as a slasher, and 55% from the stripe won’t get it done.
Another clear area where experience could help is playing more under control, as he was wont to pick up offensive fouls in bunches. When he plays composed on the offensive end, Stanford is simply a different team. This year he can thrive as a tertiary option.
On Media Day, Jerod Haase remarked that Wills and Daejon Davis make up an excellent defensive backcourt. Both can bother ball handlers and freely switch most everything. If Wills can stay out of foul trouble this season, he just might contend for an all-conference defensive nod. As a likely starter and key cog, he has the chance to do big things.