Elliot Williams: A Coach's Perspective

Jeff Ruffin, the head coach at St. George's, has maintained a front row seat for the evolution of Elliot Williams. The coach offers up an insider's view to his star player's career and recruitment.

Scout.com caught up with St. George's head coach Jeff Ruffin earlier this week. The coach offered up his thoughts on Elliot Williams, his recruitment, development and what he's meant to the start up program during his career.

The following excerpt is from an interview with Ruffin Tuesday afternoon. Ruffin's star player has visited Duke, Tennessee and Virginia. His final trip is set for Memphis this weekend.

Where does the recruiting process stand?

"Basically he's taken all of his visits and his last one is this weekend to Memphis. He's staying through Sunday. He's had home visits from all the schools."

What's Next After The Visits?

"I think there are strengths and weaknesses for all of them. It'll be tough. He's going to sit down with his family for a few weeks after the last visit. I anticipate him committing early but I don't think he's locked down to it. I do think he's going to end up (committing) but it's not a feeling that they have to do it. After this weekend they'll probably have enough information to decide."

Any Feel For A Leader?

"If I had to bet one way or the other I don't know if I could this point."

Does He Feel Pressure To Stay In Memphis?

"I don't think he feels an overwhelming amount of pressure. It's natural for kids who grow up watching Memphis and can name their starting lineup for the last 10 years like Elliot can (its natural) to feel the pressure but I don't think the pressure will necessarily make him go to Memphis."

What Are Some Factors In The Decision?

"I think the academics, they're very academically oriented (family). The schools recruiting him aren't just good schools. I think he's interested in sports management and that might be a fit.

"Distance from home will factor in. The advantage of a few schools is that they are closer. Then again, a few of the schools that are further he really likes their coaches. Playing time will factor in. He's got to find the place where there is the most need for his position."

What's The Timeline of His Recruitment?

"I think they all have worked really hard. Virginia was probably the first and then Vanderbilt were the first two that discovered him and started recruiting him and then Memphis and then Tennessee came along and Duke is more recent."

On How Why Recruitment's Been Quiet

"I think he and his family have kept it close to the vest. That's why as his coach I don't even really know which way he's leaning and I respect that. I do think they're going to weigh the positives and negatives for a few weeks."

How Would You Best Utilize Elliot?

"It depends on your own personnel. If you're a college you're probably going to use him as a two or a three. In our case we'll use him some at the 2-3 and 4. Collegiately I think he's most effective at the college level at the 2 or the 3."

On His Impact At St. Georges

"We're really proud of him. I don't know if we'll ever have one like him. I don't know if you know but our program is only 3 years old. We'd like to have some guys that have his attitude and are close to him (in abilities)."

As A Freshman Did You Think He Could Be This Good?

"I knew that he was going to be very talented. You don't ever anticipate a player being as high-profile a player as he is. I did know that he was the right guy for us to build a program around but I didn't know he'd end up with this type of profile."

He Seems Like An Extremely Competitive Kid

"The bigger the setting the better he plays. He tends to take over when he needs to. That's a great trait."


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