Williams On His Duke Commitment

The long wait ended Wednesday night as Elliot Williams picked the Duke Blue Devils. Williams and Jeff Ruffin discuss the commitment.

Elliot Williams, a 6-foot-4 senior guard out of Memphis St. Georges, was an important target for everyone recruiting him. Late Wednesday night, word broke that Scout.com's No. 14 prospect had reached a verdict. The Duke Blue Devils were the pick.

"It was a feeling," Williams said. "I was comfortable with the decision and I knew Duke was the right spot for me for various reasons. All four schools were great recruiting me. It was great coaches, the fan base and institutions. Me and my family looked at the best situation and Duke was the answer."

Williams was the answer for Duke as well. After missing out on its top frontcourt option in October, it was clear the Blue Devils needed to land their best backcourt target. Williams went from being a priority to a must have.

St. Georges coach Jeff Ruffin saw a multitude of things add up in Duke's favor. "There were checklists and combinations of academic programs and distance from home," Ruffin said. "There's a comfort level with the coaches and I heard the family mention all of those things."

Duke was not the first school in on Williams so it had to make up ground. "They started recruiting me after my high school season. Coach Wojo recruited me and then all the coaches came out to see me and we just built a relationship from there. I had tournaments in North Carolina and that's how the process went. I'm just thrilled to be at Duke."

Ruffin had a front row seat for Williams' development and points to a game late in last season as one of those special moments in a kid's career. Williams dropped 37 in a playoff game to eliminate 4-time champion Brentwood Academy. He would finish the season averaging 25 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4 assists.

For his efforts, Williams was a finalist for Mr. Basketball and a first-team all-stater. This past summer he was an all-star at Reebok U and big name on the marquee wherever he traveled.

Memphis, Tennessee and Virginia chased Williams hard. Through the fall Williams took trips and clearly was wrestling with his decision.

"Obviously Duke is Duke," Ruffin said. "The opportunity to play for someone like Coach Krzyzewski with the experience he has is incredible. Duke's a small school like St. Georges and the demographics are somewhat similar from a high school and college viewpoint. He really likes their style of play and has a huge amount of respect for the program plus they've got a great background with the NBA players."


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