Williams drafted in 2nd round

TUSCALOOSA -- Maurice Williams became the 36th University of Alabama basketball player to be drafted into the NBA on Thursday night. Williams was the 47th pick of the 2003 NBA Draft, going to the Utah Jazz in the second round.

The 6-foot-1 point guard from Jackson, Mississippi elected to leave school after his sophomore season.

Williams, a 2001 McDonald's All-America out of Jackson's Murrah High School, was voted the Sporting News National Freshman of the Year and the 2002 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year. His first season at Alabama found him starting in all 35 games and averaging 10.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.

His play, which included scoring 33 points in Alabama's NCAA first round game against Florida Atlantic, helped lead the Crimson Tide to the 2002 SEC regular season championship and the league's tournament final.

Williams led Alabama in scoring in 2003, his sophomore season. He averaged 16.4 points and started all 29 games, averaging 35.8 minutes per game on the floor. His play included 3.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. He was voted third team All-SEC in both 2002 and 2003.

His best scoring numbers for the season included scoring 26 points in the 2003 NCAA tournament against Indiana. Williams scored 20 or more points in nine games this past season, including 25 in the season opener against Oklahoma and 27 against LSU. He led the SEC in free throw percentage, making 98 of 117 for .838 percent.

Past Alabama players with the Utah Jazz include David Benoit who signed as a free agent in 1991 and played the 1991-92 season through the 1995-96 season and again in 2000-2001. And Jim Farmer, a first round pick by the Dallas Mavericks in 1987, played for the Jazz in 1989.

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