"If you told me he had one rebound, I'd probably say that's a lie," said Staten, who's known Williams for years because Staten is from Dayton and started his college career at the University of Dayton. "I know he going to get more than one rebound, regardless of if he's hurt or not."
Williams nevertheless showed things opponents will note, beginning with Tuesday's opponent. The Mountaineers (1-0) play Virginia Tech (0-1) at 1 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum. The game will be televised by ESPN. Williams made a jump shot early in the first half and early in the second. In the second half, he was given the ball at the top of the key and watched his teammates clear out so he could shoot or drive. Williams decided to drive and was fouled shooting a layup.
"I'm pretty good at facing the basket," he said.
Williams isn't short on confidence, either. He said of his low-post skill last week that "there's nobody in the country that can guard me one-on-one down there." When he was asked about how he played, and specifically how he rebounded, against Fairmont State, he seriously took issue with the box score.
"They said I had 14," he said, "but I counted 15."
In so many ways, he is what the Mountaineers need. Center Aaric Murray was the team's leading rebounder last season, and though he was 6-10, he averaged only 5.9 per game. Deniz Kilicli, the 6-9 forward who played more than anyone else in the frontcourt, averaged 4.3. Kevin Noreen played 186 fewer minutes than Kilicli last season, but had four fewer rebounds.
Noreen is a reliable rebounder, but Williams has a better offensive game.
"He gives us a lot that we really haven't had before," Staten said. "Not only does he rebound like no player I've ever played with, but he brings a toughness to the game. He just knows a lot about the game."
Williams was both limited and frustrated against Mount St. Mary's, hoping to build on his debut, but having to deal with the whistles and a pair of big defenders. Mount St. Mary's had a one low post player who was 6-10 and another who was 7-0.
The Hokies, who lost their opener Saturday to the University of South Carolina Upstate, follow 6-7 forward Jarrell Eddie, who had 18 points and seven rebounds. The Hokies and USC Upstate both had 39 rebounds, though Virginia Tech counted eight dead ball rebounds. WVU was outrebounded 30-28 in its opener.
"I think it was just my mind," Williams said. "I could blame it on the refs, but at the same time, it comes back to me. I don't think I was aggressive going to the basket (for rebounds). There were a lot of things that played a part. In the first half, I only played about (seven) minutes and I think that took me out of my rhythm. I've got to find a way, someway, somehow, to get back in my rhythm because there are going to be games I might get in foul trouble.
"I hope I don't, but if I do I've got to find another way. I've just got to find a way to play because if I stay out of foul trouble, I'm going to continue to play and keep my sweat going and then I can be more beneficial."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.