“These past two years have been great,” said Williams, the 2022 ACC Defensive Player of the Year. “Having the ability to play in front of the best fans in the world, and receiving that support on the road and home was terrific. I want to thank Coach K and the rest of the staff for pushing me every day to be the best possible player I can be.”
Williams is one of three projected NBA Draft lottery picks from this year’s Duke team after leading the ACC and ranking 12th in the NCAA in blocked shots per game (2.82), and averaging 7.4 rebounds per contest, good for sixth in the ACC.
The 7’1” center also turned in one of the most efficient offensive seasons in Duke history, as his .721 field goal percentage (191-of-265) trailed only Christian Laettner’s .723 in 1989 on the Blue Devils’ single-season chart. Williams was the nation’s only player this season who shot .700+ from the floor and .700+ at the free throw line (minimum 100 field goals).
A consistent lob threat, Williams threw down 97 dunks, becoming the second Duke player with 90 or more in a season (Marvin Bagley III, 98 in 2017-18). The third-team All-ACC selection improved his scoring average by 4.1 points (7.1 to 11.2) from his freshman to sophomore season, while his field goal percentage increased from .664 to .721 and his rebounding from 4.5 per game to 7.4.
“Mark was a joy to coach,” said head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who retired following the season. “This is such a special moment for him and his incredible family, and we will miss having the Williamses in our program. Mark was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and one of the best shot blockers in the country, but that doesn’t tell the entire story about the type of player he is. He is gifted at both ends of the floor and is driven to get even better every day. The NBA team that drafts Mark is obviously getting a talented player, but an equally impressive young man off the court that will represent their organization with class. I cannot wait to watch him at the next level.”