Williams sticks with Crean, signs with Indiana

  • 04/21/2008 4:29 pm in

nwilliams.jpgAccording to our friend Chris Korman of the Herald Times/Hoosier Scoop, Mobile (AL) guard Nick Williams has signed with Indiana. IU is also confirming the signing in a press release:

Bloomington, Indiana – Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean has announced that Nick Williams, a 6-5, 205-lb. combo guard from LeFlore High School in Mobile, Alabama has signed a Big Ten Tender of Athletic Financial Aid to attend IU and play basketball for the Hoosiers beginning next fall. He was named Alabama High School Player of the Year earlier this spring.

“Nick really addresses a need for us and gives us a big, strong presence in the backcourt,” said Crean. “He is a winner who is tough and physical and he boasts a work ethic that has helped him improve his game in a variety of ways each year. He has done a wonderful job at making the transition as a perimeter player after beginning his career as an inside performer. He comes from an outstanding high school program and has been well coached throughout his career.”

Williams chose Indiana over Arkansas, Kansas State, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Alabama. He had originally signed a national letter of intent with Marquette earlier this fall, but was let out of his commitment when Coach Crean took over the IU program.

“Bennie Seltzer deserves a lot of credit for the being the one who recognized that Nick was a player who would be a great fit for our system,” said Crean. “I think Bennie’s efforts and his relationship with everyone involved proved instrumental in Nick becoming a member of the Hoosier basketball family,” Crean added.

Williams, who played for Coach Otis Hughley at LeFlore, averaged 21 points in earning All-State honors as a senior as he led his squad to a 30-3 record, a #32 national ranking and a berth in the Class 6A state semifinals where his team lost to Hillcrest, the alma mater of IU All-American D.J. White.

As a junior, he helped lead LeFlore to a 32-3 overall record and a state championship. He averaged 17.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game as a junior and is ranked No. 34 at his position and No. 145 overall by Rivals.com in his recruiting class. He was ranked No. 32 among 2008 shooting guards by Scout.com. He also was tabbed No. 35 on the ESPN 150 and is the ninth-rated shooting guard on ESPN.com.

He was a member of the Alabama Challenge AAU team, Williams participated in the LeBron James Skills Academy last summer and was invited to the NBA Top-100 Camp at the University of Virginia.

At this stage in the game, this is an excellent pick up for Indiana. Williams is a powerful guard that should be able to step in and contribute right away. This is the third recruit Crean has added in the past week, which is an encouraging sign given the turmoil that surrounded the program just a little over three weeks ago.

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  • southsidehitmen

    Seems like a typical Tom Crean guard. Tough, physical, he might not be great but he'll be a solid strong performer.

  • Kelin Blab

    Got two words for you…..

    Goodbye Jamarcus

    In all honesty given this kids (jamarcus) background and things that have happened to him, I think and hope it works out for Jamarcus but from the looks of things…it isn't looking good.

  • Yes sir, of course.

  • JerryCT

    Dumes and WIlliams seem to have a focus on “work ethic”. I suspect Pritchard and Roth have the same attitude. Looks like Crean is not only getting decent players but also an attitude transfusion as well. This will make everyone better over the course of next season

  • MikeinNC

    Let's just refer to these two recruits as the “anti-Killingsworths”….hopefully these recruits are putting us in a position where Crean can make the right decision on Bassett and Ellis without any little voices creeping into his head about “needing” them next year.

  • JerryCT

    I hear your point but the cold hard fact is we DO need them even with these recruits. I keep thinking our 4 recruits however will push the work ethic of the others making everybody better by mid season

  • Anonymous

    Hey, here’s a great Q & A with Nick Williams about his decision to play for IU.

    http://iuplanet.com/forum/iuplanet-hoosier-news/15390-q-alabama-guard-nick-williams-who-signed-iu-today.html

  • Kelin Blab

    Jerry I will have to disagree reluctantly….the “we need” time of IU is hopefully over and I think that is part of the problem for years….

    we need Bracey
    we need Marshal
    we need Marco
    we need Jamarcus, Armon, etc etc.

    These are things you don't hear from other “team” oriented programs…hence UNC….loss there pt. guard for part of the season….they kept winning. Duke loses McRoberts…..kept winning……OSU lost Oden for part of the season….kept winning……

    I hate the “we need” players routine when there are a TON of cases in this STATE that show you need a good coach and a good team not good individuals….Hence BUTLER…they lost players and a coach last year…kept winning.

    Trust me, when the season tips off, if Armon and Jamarcus aren't there, we ALL will get over it. How many times this year did anyone on this board say …”WE NEED MARCO?”

  • JerryCT

    If they come back then I think we have 1 more slot to offer. I hope its Harrelson. I want to see DeAndre and Harrelson play at the same time. We could have a double screen that stretches from the baseline to half court

  • JerryCT

    I actually agree w your point. Your point is not to hold the program hostage to any one player , even a good one…………….My point is slightly different..

    Much as I would like it to happen we cannot expect or think that these recruits can replace the stats of Bassett and Ellis on the floor. That will take time

  • B_MD

    Also the sad truth is that UNC and Duke are FAR more talented than our roster. Williams and Dumes sound like good additions, but neither of them have played a second in the Big Ten.

    Those Duke and UNC teams backups would be recruits that we're getting fired up about as we're currently constituted.

    I don't know what's going on behind the scenes, but if Bassett seems apologetic and like he's willing to work hard, then he could be the biggest asset we ad this summer, he would be a solidfying force on a young team.

  • Kelin Blab

    Wow Jerry…. for a long time I have wanted to say these words as it relates to IU….”A Screen”……could you imagine, not that we want to now…Deandre setting a screen for EJ for a three…would have been nice. I would also like to see another BIG come in and work with DT and Eli on the block.

    What rings a MAJOR bell to me is CREAN is a beast recruiting….EVEN with RESTRICTIONS….Painter, Coach K, and Mata better watch out….the guy and his staff are good.

  • B_MD

    So looking forward to actually watching offense. I went to the NCAA Tourney in DC and it was refreshing watching Purdue/Xavier game as both teams actually ran an offense…who would have thunk it.

  • RGH

    I agree but I'm also nervous. Some of us said similar things about Sampson….

  • BTOWN40

    I would like to say a special thanks to DJ White. I heard that he talked to Nick Williams and said what a great fit IU would be for him. DJ didn't have to say crap it just goes to show you what class he has.
    With all that DJ went thru in his career at IU he still exhibits what it means to play for INDIANA.
    Second I would like to thank Crean for at least restoring our Faith in IU, keep up the great work it has been great to see the committment to IU

  • CJames0569

    I've read that with Harrelson it is between us and Kentucky and surely we can offer him more playing time. I've also read that he has pretty soft hands with good foot work and solid moves around that basket plus a decent mid range jumper. I think he could be a solid physical banger at 6'9' 275 in the big 10, so here's to hoping that we can get him.

  • hoosier07

    tom crean = hoosier fans savior … there really isn't much else to say, but “keep it up coach”

  • Raymond219

    I must say, i doubt that very many of us thought three weeks ago that we would be in the position we are in today. I am not saying we're going to win the big ten, or 20 games, but I don't think we thought we would be pulling in recruits and filling out our roster with solid recruits…and not just filling out our roster.

    Hopefully now we can fix another hole in our program…our schedule. Does anyone else miss playing real team in the non conference season? I hope we can start playin teams like Notre Dame every year again or bring back the hoosier classic or play in the Wooden. Just a thought.

  • MikeinNC

    I'd rather give up Bassett/Ellis's “experience” and point production, in exchange for starting with a clean slate and a team of players hand picked by Crean to play within his program and per his expectations. Those two give you some points, but they cost you a lot more in negatively impacting the team, and I never saw signs of consistent leadership from either player last year. Crean will find people that can make up the points, and even if it costs us a few games next year, it is worth it to get started winning the right way again – to me it is anyway, I don't know if other fans would agree with me 🙂

  • JerryCT

    I agree with you except I am sticking w Bassett and Ellis for one reason. I think Crean, his coaches and the new recruits will alter the dynamics of the team attitude and both kids will be measureably better players and teamates.

    I believe Crean can rehab them .

  • Crean's offense isn't a screening offense. It's based on spacing, inside-out play, and penetration.

    Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but his offense is going to resemble Davis' and Sampson's.

  • southsidehitmen

    Sorry this is a little belated, but Kelin:

    Did you mention Josh McRoberts leaving and Duke keeping up their success?

    C'mon. I agreed with your point in general, but McRoberts was trash. He was a loser and a mental midget, same as Paulus. It's probably why Duke hasn't been able to get into the Sweet 16 recently.

  • SteveEyl

    The Hooiser Classic had “real” teams?

  • BrianK

    Lol the hoosier classic was a joke. Bring back the Big 4, IU, UofL, UofK and Purdue. That would be sweet. But IU's non conf schedule has never really been that great except for Davis who did put together and tough one.

  • MikeinNC

    I'd rather give up Bassett/Ellis's “experience” and point production, in exchange for starting with a clean slate and a team of players hand picked by Crean to play within his program and per his expectations. Those two give you some points, but they cost you a lot more in negatively impacting the team, and I never saw signs of consistent leadership from either player last year. Crean will find people that can make up the points, and even if it costs us a few games next year, it is worth it to get started winning the right way again – to me it is anyway, I don't know if other fans would agree with me 🙂

  • JerryCT

    I agree with you except I am sticking w Bassett and Ellis for one reason. I think Crean, his coaches and the new recruits will alter the dynamics of the team attitude and both kids will be measureably better players and teamates.

    I believe Crean can rehab them .

  • Crean's offense isn't a screening offense. It's based on spacing, inside-out play, and penetration.

    Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but his offense is going to resemble Davis' and Sampson's.

  • southsidehitmen

    Sorry this is a little belated, but Kelin:

    Did you mention Josh McRoberts leaving and Duke keeping up their success?

    C'mon. I agreed with your point in general, but McRoberts was trash. He was a loser and a mental midget, same as Paulus. It's probably why Duke hasn't been able to get into the Sweet 16 recently.

  • SteveEyl

    The Hooiser Classic had “real” teams?

  • BrianK

    Lol the hoosier classic was a joke. Bring back the Big 4, IU, UofL, UofK and Purdue. That would be sweet. But IU's non conf schedule has never really been that great except for Davis who did put together and tough one.