Williams Nears Decision

Tim Williams decided to transfer from Samford after two season in hopes of facing improved competition and attending a bigger university. The Chicago product recently visited Dayton, New Mexico and Iowa and will choose from that trio. Find out the latest on his recruitment and when a decision may be coming in this story.

You can't knock Fran McCaffery for his effort. After losing out on several recruits in the last few months, the Iowa coach is trying to close the deal again.

Samford transfer Tim Williams wrapped up a two-day official visit Friday morning. The power forward prepped at Homewood-Flossmoor High in the Chicago area.

Williams' parents, Tim Sr. and Lisa, accompanied their son for his stay in Iowa City as well as recent official visits to Dayton and New Mexico. Lisa said that Iowa would be their last stop and an announcement is forthcoming.

"We're hoping to have a decision by Sunday night," she said. "It's kind of been a whirlwind visiting these three schools in a short time so we'll go home, relax and discuss the decision as a family. Ultimately it will be Timothy's decision but we'll talk about all of the schools and review what we've seen and heard."

Williams was named the Southern Conference's Freshman of the Year for the 2012-13 season and tabbed as a first-team all-league pick this past winter. He averaged 17.6 points and 7.3 rebounds as a sophomore.

"He wants to get the full college experience and that's hard to do at a smaller school like Samford. He also wants to test himself against a higher competition level. He has three really nice, diverse choices," Lisa Williams said.

Williams attended the Prime Time League in North Liberty (Iowa) Thursday night, getting a chance to watch some of the Hawkeyes he would team up with if he chose Iowa. He sat with Josh Oglesby during one game and left the gym with Peter Jok, who would be in Williams' eligibility class after the latter would need to sit out the '14-15 season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules.

"It's really been a great visit here at Iowa," Lisa Williams said. "It's a really nice school and town and the head coach (McCaffery) and his staff have been very welcoming."

Iowa is situated the closest to the Williams' Chicago home. While that could play a role in the Tim's choice, it won't determine is next destination.

"It will be a factor but not the deciding factor. There are a lot of factors that go into a decision like this. As a parent, as a mother, it would be great to be where we could get to every game if he were at Iowa or Dayton, but this is about Timothy going where he'll be most happy. This is a decision for the rest of his life, not just the next three years. We wouldn't have taken a trip to New Mexico if we didn't think Timothy could go there. We made it to all the games that we could when he was at Samford and we'll do the same thing wherever he ends up now," Lisa Williams said.

Lisa Williams said her son is 6-foot-8 1/2 and 230 pounds. He'll use his redshirt year to prepare to play at a higher level.

"He's coming off two very good seasons and wants to play against greater competition. After his sit-out year, he wants to be able to hit the ground running and get the full college experience," Lisa Williams said.

Tim Williams studied Engineering during his first year at Samford before switching to Computer Science as a sophomore.

"He might stay with that but it could depend on which school he chooses. He's still feeling that out. He loves Math so he will end up doing something with that," Lisa Williams said.

New Mexico has become a perennial NCAA Tournament team since former Iowa Coach Steve Alford went there seven years ago. When he left for UCLA before last season, former Hawkeye Assistant Craig Neal took over the program and brought it to the Big Dance this past winter.

Dayton advanced to the Elite Eight in March. Coach Archie Miller has lifted up the program in his three seasons there and, at 34, is regarded as one of the top young coaches in America.

"Dayton is great. Coach Miller has it going there and it's just a basketball crazy place," Lisa Williams said.

Iowa was afforded the chance to make the final impression on the Williams family as it heads into the decision-making phase. McCaffery hopes he and his staff did enough to win this recruiting battle after falling short with Willie Atwood and Cole Huff after they visited in the spring.

"All three schools have things in common and each is unique in their own way. They're all great basketball and academic opportunities and it really comes down to where Timothy thinks he'll be most happy and successful. He wants to get it right this time and it's going to be a hard decision,' Lisa Williams said.

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