With the premier college players leaving earlier and earlier, getting talented freshman who can step in and provide big production right away has become a premium these days. Recruiting seems to begin earlier and earlier now, with 8th and 9th graders sometimes getting national attention. TheInsiders.com caught up with two of the best backcourt players in the Class of 2005, Louis Williams and Mike Mercer; here's what the potential McDonald's All-American teammates had to say.
"I just try to play hard, (my) shot wasn't falling, things weren't going
my way, I was kind of rattled by some comments made to me,(and) I don't think I
played well," TheInsiders' no. 10 junior at all positions, and top rated G
Louis Williams said after a rough, hard fought, emotional battle for his South
Gwinnett Comets last week. Unfortunately for the opposition, when Williams shot
wasn't falling he still found a way to put up 30 for the winner.
Earlier in the week, he broke a school record by going off for 43, with 9
trifectas. Williams has range out into NBA 3 point land, can get into the lane
with a lightning quick handle and can finish several different ways once he gets
there. He and PG Mike Mercer also will throw up multiple alley-oops during a
game, where the 6' Williams rises up to finish, in spite of his small stature.
"We're a run and gun team. We like to get up and down; we just like to
have fun, (Mercer)'s a great passer, I'm a great dunker, so that's just one of
our ways to have fun, and just enjoy the game."
In a day and age where most big time players go off to basketball factories
like Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, just how good is this run-n-gun public High
"Honestly, no team in the country is going to play harder. We probably
couldn't match up with (Oak Hill in) size, or skill or talent or things of that
nature, but we'll outwork anybody.
While the vocal Williams receives the accolades and garners the spotlight,
6'3 Mercer may just well be the better prospect.
Showing solid skills on both ends of the floor, the soft-spoken Mercer leads
this team by example, and acts like an old veteran directing traffic on the
offensive and defensive ends.
"He's more vocal than I am," the raw looking 17 year old said.
"I just sit back and do whatever to keep the team in the game. He's
dominant with the ball, but I like to make things happen. I'm not really a
scorer; I just look to get a W out there."
Mercer is very long, and his lanky 6'3 frame is starting to sprout again,
which could have him entering college as a 6'5+ PG. He's very aggressive
defensively, to go with a solid handle, flashy passing, and great court vision.
About his only drawback is poor shooting form, but soft touch on his shot, and
an uncommon willingness to use the glass allows him to put points on the board
in a flurry.
And while Williams is the finisher on the pair's alley-oop combo gliding
through the air, Mercer has excellent risers of his own allowing him to finish
with power when he gets near the basket. His name has already been climbing fast
over the past summer where he and Williams suited up for the Georgia Stars, and
the attention will only increase as he begins to come into his own.
UCLA has apparently been attempting to make in roads with Mercer, but not
Williams who said, "I don't know if they don't want me or not, it's just I
wouldn't go that far to college."
So, can the lure of Westwood split up the close friends and teammates?
"We are going to college together; we haven't made the decision, but we
are going to college together," said Williams.
When asked whose backcourt the dynamic duo might be helping out Williams
added, "We are not leaving the Southeast. North Carolina is recruiting us
hard, Georgia is recruiting us hard, Tennessee, those are really the top 3
schools that got after us, and really wanted to let us know they wanted
The two are talented enough to get some minutes in the rotation for a few
major programs right now, so expect a lot of schools to try and get involved
before they sign on the dotted line.
Benjamin Egger is part of the Dawgpost's growing team of writers to cover cover
Georgia athletics, both the current stars and the future stars. The Dawgpost has
a Basketball Message Board set up just for discussions and questions about
basketball. Come join us!
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