View from the Hilltop: Who will be the man?

Freshman Charles Williams is a bright spot in a dismal season

Here’s the big question for the Howard basketball team as it enters the final six weeks of the regular season: Who’s going to be the man?

The Bison (5-15, 2-3) have been waiting for James Daniel, the nation’s leading scorer, who injured his ankle before the start of the season, to return and reassume that role. But Daniel has played in just two games so far. Even if he’s medically cleared to play next week, it might make more sense for Daniel to redshirt and salvage his last year of college eligibility.

In Daniel’s absence, freshman Charles “CJ” Williams has emerged as one of the players who can power the offense. He’s averaging 14.8 points per game (tied with guard James Miller), and has scored more than 20 points a team-high six times. Williams scored a career-high 30 points in the Jan. 21 win at North Carolina A&T, a performance that helped earn him the MEAC Rookie of the Week honor for the fourth time.

Williams is far from a finished package. He needs to get stronger. (He was physically manhandled while scoring just eight points in a 74-39 loss at North Carolina Central on Jan. 23.) He needs to be a better defender. And he has to work on his shot selection.

But he’s fearless. And that trait — along with his offensive talent — is one of the few bright spots in what thus far has been a : dismal season.