Class of 2005: Marcus Williams

While many recruits know of Arizona's history of developing point guards, many fail to notice Lute Olson's success with wings. Since he took over at Arizona every starting wing player has gone on to a pro career, with the vast majority playing in the NBA. This fact was not lost on Marcus Williams, the talented wing from Seattle who signed with the Wildcats on Wednesday.

You've known that you were going to be a Wildcat for awhile, did it feel good to sign that letter and make it official?

"Yeah, it felt really good. I was really excited. I figured I could wait a little bit, wait until we went out and had dinner and all that, but I was too excited. I woke up in the morning and I was just real excited. "

You should have made the coaches sweat a little more Marcus.

"That's what people were telling me, but I couldn't do it. "

You were quoted after your visit as saying that the visit to Arizona was everything you expected it to be. Tell me what expectations you had that Arizona was able to fill?

"I guess with Lute being the guru of basketball and having the city be one big basketball city. Growing up in Seattle and growing up in the Pac-10, I saw Arizona as this big basketball school. When you walk in you just kind of feel it. During the football game everyone knew all the basketball players. It's a real basketball town, that was a big thing. Plus the playing environment, the coaching staff I felt have a big focus on the players' goals as individuals and as a team. They really have your best interest in mind, they try to get you better. That was one of the biggest keys, they develop their small forwards and guards and that's the position that I play. "

It has been said that Lute Olson has a presence in recruiting. That when he walks into a room and there is a different feel. Did you get that sense in your recruiting process?

"Yeah, I mean being a recruit in basketball, if you don't know who Lute Olson is you don't deserve to play basketball. He steps into a room and you look at him as a potential coach, but you also feel like you are looking at a celebrity. It is really like that kind of presence. You are like ‘oh my God, he's sitting in my living room.' I was kind of in awe. "

The UofA coaches were impressed with the coaches that you asked about the school. Can you share some of those questions that you asked?

"One of my big things is that I wanted to know how practices went, what they do for player development. I wanted to know what type of team it was. How did the guys get along? I wanted to know about the weight program. I spent a lot of time with the weight coach and stuff liked that. Everybody was pretty easy going, I really got to hang out with them. They tried to make it not too stressful. We got to know each other. They just answered my question about the program and the team and where they saw me fitting in. "

Coach Tention is one of my favorite guys. What was his role in the recruiting process?

"He's a great guy. He's the guy I was talking to the most. I talked to him every chance I got within the rules. He's real funny. He's big on video games, which is my forte. We can just talk about anything. When he called it wasn't always ‘when are you coming to Arizona?' We kind of talk to each other. That was one of the big perks. He wasn't always selling Arizona. Arizona doesn't really need to be sold. He would just talk to me and I really appreciated it. "

If you lose to Coach T. in video game then you have problems.

"He talks a lot of trash, so we'll see. "

Was there a part of you that was always a Wildcat?

"I really never had a specific school growing up. When I was younger I always liked Duke, but I wasn't sure I wanted to go there. I like North Carolina because Michael Jordan is my favorite player. I was familiar with Arizona because of Jason Terry coming out of Rotary Select (Williams' AAU team). I never really had a favorite school I could see myself going to, but as the recruiting process went on Arizona felt like the right place. "

Are you a marked man now this year because you are going to Arizona?

"Probably, they should all be coming at me. I think it will be good, I will be playing against Micah Downs (Kansas signee) and those guys. Kansas against Arizona, I think it will be a good rivalry. "

Marcus you mentioned Jason Terry. He is obviously a player that is well liked by the fans of Arizona. Is he someone you've looked up to?

"He had a lot of confidence in himself. The way he put it all on the line his senior year and did not transfer out, that kind of determination is something special and only a few athletes have it. For me, I looked at it like whatever my opportunity is I will take it. Whether it is my freshman, sophomore or junior year, whatever year it is for me to come and make the impact I want to, then I will do that. "

Many guys come into school with an eye towards leaving as soon as they can. Do you look to staying three or four years?

"I don't really have a specific mold for myself. I believe I can play at that (the NBA) level, but I am not looking for a specific time. If I am ready I believe that coach will tell me that I am ready. If I was ready I would go, but I am not going to try and force myself to go. I am not extra anxious. "

Your senior year, what will you work on before you arrive in Tucson?

"I am really going to work a lot on my defense. That is one thing that Coach Tention really sold me on. He told me the big things for this team is to play defense and to rebound. Those are the two keys. Those are two of the things I will be working on. I'll also focus on my leadership. "

Last year Washington beat the Wildcats three times. How do you see those Arizona/UW match-ups going?

"I think it will be a battle. Arizona lost Andre, but they still have solid players. Both teams really didn't lose anybody, so I think it will be a good game. UW kind of snuck on Arizona the first time and then I think it kind of built up. "

What will it be like that first time you play Washington up in Seattle?

"I think the fans will give me a hard time, but it will be fun coming back home. I'll get to play in front of my mom. I'm excited about it, but I'm excited about going everywhere to play. But it will be special to go back to UW."

Ryan Radtke hosts the aptly titled "Ryan Radtke Show" on the Source 1290 a.m. weekdays from 3-6 p.m. He also hosts the pregame show for Wildcat football and basketball.

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