There's very little doubt who the top priority at small forward is for the University of Arkansas in the 2009 class.
Simply, Shawn Williams is it.
Williams (6-6, 212), who was born in Arkansas and lived in the state until the eighth grade before becoming a star at Duncanville (Texas) High, has continued to blossom as one of the nation's best 3 guys.
"His goal is to be one of the best three guys in the country and I think he is living up to that," notes Texas Select head coach Shawn Williams, who is the player's dad. "Getting to go to the Vince Carter Camp in Orlando and being invited to the NBA Top 100 Camp kind of validates that."
Arkansas is just one of the many schools chasing after Williams, who is the No. 8 small forward nationally and the 46th-best player overall regardless of position according to Scout.com.
But the Razorbacks are doing a good enough job to be in the top 4 for Williams, who averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds for a 36-2 squad last season.
"He's looked at a lot of schools, but his top four schools are Arkansas, Texas, UCLA and Baylor," Coach Williams said. "Kansas and Kentucky are still hanging in there, but those four are the top four."
Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey and his staff have impressed father and son.
"We have really developed a great relationship with the Arkansas staff," Coach Williams said. "We really like what they are doing. One thing we really like is that Coach Pelphrey seems to be a guy that can really develop players while at the same time really holding them accountable. That something that really appeals to us."
The improvement made by Sonny Weems during his senior season really stands out as well.
"We watched Arkansas throughout the season and paid special attention to Sonny Weems and how he came along," Coach Williams said. "There was a great deal of improvement - a great deal of improvement - and that speaks highly of Coach Pelphrey and his staff are doing."
Coach Williams was actually in Arkansas a couple of weeks ago and stopped by Bud Walton Arena to visit with Pelphrey.
"We sit down and watched some tape of Weems and also Mike Miller of Memphis, who played for them at Florida," Coach Williams said. "Coach Pelphrey showed us just what they try to accomplish with their 3s and it was impressive."
One of the things that the younger Williams has tried to do this summer is get bigger and stronger.
"He's been hitting the weights really hard and he's gone from about 200 to 212 pounds and probably on his way to playing at about 220 in college," Coach Williams said. "That has messed up his shot a little bit, but that's no big deal. He needed to get stronger and the shot will come back like it was. He's never had any problems scoring, that's for sure."
Texas Select is set to play in AAU events in Cincinnati July 6-8, the Denton Shootout July 11-13, the Adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas on July 22-26 and then finish up in Phoenix in late July.
It's not beyond the realm of possibility that Williams could have his college chosen by then.
"It's his decision totally and it is just going to be a feel for him," Coach Williams said. "When he is ready, he'll make that move. We have been on all of the campuses except for UCLA. If he hasn't done something by August, it will only be because we haven't made it to the UCLA campus yet. But I think he is really getting much closer to having that feel on just where he wants to go."
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