Marcus Williams Interview

The newest addition to Arizona basketball, Seattle recruit Marcus Williams, spent some time with Ryan Radtke on his afternoon radio show on 1290 AM The Source. Williams, a 6-6, 190-pound swingman from Roosevelt High School, says the UA's style of play was a major factor in his decision.

Radtke: Tell us about the decision. What set Arizona apart from Maryland and the other schools that interested you?

Williams: "Coach Olson is great. The visit went wonderful. I got to know the guys and they were all wonderful. I got to play with them and it was great. They play my type of game. We're unselfish, we have a good work ethic, we work hard. Coach Olson knows the business real well. He's a legend, he's a Hall-of-Famer. His players do their best and hopefully for me it will help to get to the next level."

Radtke: When did you get interested in Arizona?

Williams: "They've been recruiting me for two years. I always really liked them. I have a very good relationship with Coach (Rodney) Tention. I know the Pac-10 since I live in Seattle."

Radtke: Was there a lot of pressure to stay home and play for Lorenzo Romar?

Williams: "There was a little bit, but it wasn't too bad. It's more from my friends and peers. I told them I had an idea I wanted to get away from home. I grew up here, I've been in Seattle a long time. Lorenzo Romar is great, and they talked a little about my recruiting, but it was nice."

Radtke: What stood out in your pickup games during your visit?

Williams: "I like to get up and down and really run. The high scoring games are my types of games. During the pickup games, they'd score but they wouldn't lag. All the guys played real unselfish and helped me get in my groove. They helped me out and kept passing me the ball. We got along real well on the floor. That's the type of program I want to be in. It felt like a family, even in the pickup games."

Radtke: Jawann McClellan was someone you hung out with quite a bit.

Williams: "I hung out with Jawann, Hassan (Adams) and Jesus (Verdejo). We talked about the experience of being away from home, and what it was like at Arizona other than being just a basketball player, but as a student. It helped me a lot with my decision."

Radtke: How important is it to hear that from players in that situation?

Williams: "Most of those guys seemed real honest. If I asked them about certain problems, they'd tell me, but they all said it was great and to work hard. Getting along with the players was the most important thing."

Radtke: How do you see yourself fitting in?

Wiliams: "I would like to see myself do a mixture of everything. Coach Olson says he wants me as a three-man, and since I'm going to come in as the only three-man in this class, and everyone expects Hassan to leave, I think I'll be able to come in and make an impact. I want to be able to distribute, score points, play defense, and I think I can do that."

Radtke: People make a lot about Coach Olson's 70th birthday, and how he's one of the oldest Division I head coaches. At other schools, did they make a big deal out of that?

Williams: "It did (come up) a couple times. When he came into my home, he said the one question you will probably ask me on my visit is will Coach Olson stay around. He said he'll probably be around longer than I will, and I feel like I can trust him. He seems like a real up front guy."

Radtke: Sometimes guys come in and they want to recruit other guys into the program. Would you like to make some calls on behalf of Arizona and get them to come?

Williams: "I want as much talent as I can. I'm not afraid of competition. I want to win and win championships. That's the reason I came to Arizona."

Radtke: Did Arizona use its recruitment of fellow Seattle product Martell Webster as leverage?

Williams: "I was aware they were recruiting him, but never felt rushed. I felt like the time was right. It was an internal feeling. They never said if you don't take the scholarship, Martell probably will."

Radtke: Are you happy it's done?

Williams: "I'm happy it's done, but it wasn't really like the phone calls were bothering me because it's a once in a lifetime thing. I'll never go through something like this again. I wanted to take advantage of it and not take it for granted. I was more worried about finding a place where I was most needed and got along with everyone and have a similar game plan."

Radtke: How will Roosevelt High School be this year?

Williams: "We should be good. We got some transfers from different schools. We're going to be a lot more athletic and be about defense. We'll see."

Ryan Radtke hosts a local sports talk show on 1290 AM The Source. His show airs weekdays from 12-3. Radtke also handles network hosting duties for Wildcat football and basketball games for Host Communications and is a contributor to Wildcat Insider Magazine and cattracks.net.


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