Thursday, April 23, 2009
MemphisRoar - Latavious Williams- “The Total Package”
Latavious Williams- “The Total Package”
Posted by TigerEye
On April - 22 - 2009
After just a few hours of catching up with Latavious Williams (interview here: Williams has final two), MemphisRoar had the privilege to speak with Latavious’ head coach, Carlos Wilson. Wilson, head coach at Humble (TX) Christian Life Academy, has played a huge role in the development of the Christian Life program, especially in the life of Latavious Williams.
As reported earlier, the Memphis staff visited with Williams this past weekend with his family in Starkville, MS. Coach Pastner then followed up his recent meeting with a visit to watch Williams practice on Tuesday. When asked if Latavious enjoyed the visit from the Memphis staff, Coach Wilson responded, “Latavious, from all indications from my conversations with him, said that it went really, really well. His parents really got a good feel with Josh Pastner, and they feel like he is exactly someone they can trust and they can entrust with their son for the next couple of years.”
When asked what is next for Latavious, now that his standardized tests have been completed, Wilson said, “He is taking a full course load with us, and he is also in some courses outside of our school, so that’s been his main focus and that’s kind of what is taking him so long, if you really think about it. But he’s really entrenched in his studies to get qualified, so he doesn’t have any hours in the day to sit down and really focus on where he’s going to go to school. I had to break it to him and say, ‘you know this thing is coming pretty up quick.’ So he is starting to focus more on the school (college) situation now, now that the high school and course work is coming to an end and he is meeting those requirements, so he is able to move on to the next thing.”
Since Williams has now completed his standardized tests and is wrapping things up academically, his focus now turns to recruiting. Although schools such as Georgetown, Baylor, Kansas State, Florida State, Kentucky, and Memphis are all interested in Williams, Latavious informed MemphisRoar earlier today that his list is now down to two– Georgetown and Memphis.
With Williams’ list down to two, MemphisRoar asked Coach Wilson what he thought made each school a good destination for Williams. After clarifying that he didn’t know that Williams cut his list to two schools, and thought that Kansas State was still on Latavious’ list, Coach Wilson had this to say about Georgetown and Memphis: “I just think the lure of the playing time is the thing he is looking at the most and to be in a system that allows him to be Latavious Williams, which is up-tempo, and have a little freedom. Georgetown doesn’t have anyone with his skill set, so that’s intriguing. Even though they are more of a half-court, Princeton offense type of system, but they would really like to get up and down the court a little more, and they don’t have any of those kind of players, so that’s kind of intriguing for him. And Memphis is intriguing from the standpoint that Josh (Pastner) promises to play somewhat similar to the style that they have had the recent success with in the past, so that’s intriguing. And then there’s playing time– with all of the guys that had committed and then left, there’s room for him to come in and get some minutes right away, so that’s intriguing.”
So just how does Coach Wilson view his star athlete? “I think with Latavious… the more he has to be that athlete that he is, I think the more successful he will be. And that is his game. We play really, really fast this year. We’re probably one of the higher scoring teams as far as high school basketball is concerned, and he really thrived in our system. He can get out on the wing and fill the lanes on the breaks and able to catch, finish. He has the total package when it comes to transition basketball. That’s his strong point, the faster, the better for him.”
At 6′7” 195 lbs, most recruiting services list Williams as a power forward, but that may not be the best way to describe Williams. Despite his listed position, Coach Wilson uses Williams as a 3 man in his fast-paced offense, allowing him to use Williams quite effectively.
“I think he’s a match-up problem either way, it just depends on what you need,” Coach Wilson told MemphisRoar. Coach Wilson then added, “And the wonderful thing about Latavious is that I played him at the 3, but I also would push him up to the 4 spot and bring in more of a natural guard. In either position he is comfortable and he doesn’t complain. He’ll play center if you ask him to! He just wants to win. If he can help the program succeed at the 4, he’ll go to work under the basket and get the boards and do all the things that are there; and if you want him on the wing, he has a good knock-down shot, one-dribble, two-dribble pull-ups, can get to the rack, he’s just a versatile basketball player.”
After speaking with Latavious and Coach Wilson, no definite date has been set concerning Williams’ college decision, but both informed us that a decision could be made in the next few weeks. Latavious would be a huge addition to the Tigers if chosen, and he would definitely see significant minutes as a freshman. Coach Pastner stressed his goal to get athletes during his press conference when named head coach, and there aren’t many greater athletes in the 2009 class than Latavious Williams.
*MemphisRoar would like to personally thank the generosity of Coach Carlos Wilson for his time in answering our questions.*