U of M, Vols make Williams' final four
Highly sought shooter also eyes Duke, Virginia
By Jason Smith
July 17, 2007
It's a four-horse race now between Duke, Tennessee, the University of Memphis and Virginia, and Elliot Williams is calling it a dead heat.
"I feel I would fit in at all of them," St. George's star shooting guard said Monday of his recently revised list of college choices.
"They're all the same as far as interest level, and you've also got to look at the fact that some of (those schools' players) might be leaving (next year) for the NBA. You've got to take all that into consideration."
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, Memphis coach John Calipari, Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl and Virginia coach Dave Leitao were all in Philadelphia last week to watch Williams participate in the first RBK U camp (previously known as Reebok's ABCD Camp), where the sweet-shooting lefty poured in 18 points in the camp's all-star game.
"Since I've narrowed it down to those four schools, I've really gotten closer to the head coaches, being able to talk to them more and just really focus in on those four schools," said Williams, who three months ago listed Clemson and Vanderbilt among his "main five" but has since dropped them from his list and added Duke.
"I (revised my college list) four or five days before Philly. I had those four going into Philadelphia, and all four coaches were there to support me. ... As far as Duke is concerned, me and (6-10 Louisiana forward) Greg Monroe are their top two targets. I feel they want me just as bad as any other, and I feel like I can play at any college."
Williams, who last July was a relatively unheralded commodity and a late addition to the ABCD Camp in Teaneck, N.J., is now ranked the No. 16 overall prospect in the class of 2008 by Rivals.com and the No. 2 shooting guard prospect.
"He seems real excited to have gotten it down to those four (schools), and to be honest with you, I don't know which way he'll go from here," St. George's coach Jeff Ruffin said. "He's kind of indicated to me that he would like to make a decision by the fall."
Ruffin said both Texas and North Carolina attempted to make late charges at Williams, but to no avail.
"If I were in Elliot's shoes, it would be a very difficult decision because all four programs offer certain things that maybe the other program doesn't," Ruffin said Monday.
"I mean, Memphis offers a chance to play here with a program that we know is going to be in the top five or top 10 the next few years. But Duke and Virginia, especially Duke, offer such a valuable scholarship, and Tennessee has really recruited him hard."
Ruffin said Pearl told him his star player looked good, but a bit worn in last week's RBK U camp, where Williams continued a hectic summer schedule. Williams' AAU team, the M33M Magic, will travel next to Las Vegas for the the adidas Super 64 tournament before heading to Los Angeles for the Double Pump Best of the Summer Tournament.
"He's been all over the country, and I think it's as much mental fatigue as it is physical," Ruffin said. "We all love to do what we like to do, but as time wears on, everybody needs a break."
-- Jason Smith: 529-5804