Williams' Evolving Mentality

2017 G DaMonte Williams, a Peoria native and Illini legacy, has become more aggressive, and it's paying off in a big way this spring and summer.

Illinois legacy DaMonte Williams has really elevated his game this spring to a new level. Now more aggressive, Williams has become increasingly difficult to defend, and a lot of that is due to a change in mentality.

"I’m more in attack mode now, 24/7,” he said. "I don’t settle for threes as much as I used to. Being in attack mode has helped me not settle for threes as much. That’s definitely why."

That mental toughness has really improved Williams’ overall game this spring. Not only does he feel like it gives him an advantage over opponents, but also he feels like it pushes him beyond his limits.

"Being in attack mode and getting to the rim more,” Williams said. "It helps me being mentally tough. I push myself when I’m tired now and push to get better.”

Williams is a physical guard, and he is often a mismatch for his opponent. With that more aggressive mindset, he now capitalizes on those mismatches more often.

"It’s a big advantage,” he pointed out. "I’m a bigger guard than most guards, so a lot of times I go right at the post and post guards up. Plus I can draw double teams and dish it off to my teammates."

Offensively, Williams has become more efficient this spring. But defense has been this latest focus, and he wants to become a more suffocating defender.

"I want to work on my overall game,” he said. "I’m working on my transition defense. I’m working on playing better defense overall and not reaching all the time. Nick (Irvin) has been on me about that."

Many consider Williams a point guard, or at least a combo guard, in his own right. Regardless of his label, he knows he’ll be a lead guard for his Peoria Manual team throughout his career, and wants to develop his point guard skills.

"I’ve gotten better at getting people to where they need to be on the court rather than rely on Nick (Irvin) to tell us everything,” he said.

Williams holds three early offers. He recently took a visit to Illinois, his father’s alma mater, but aside from a trip to see the Illini, he isn’t sure where else he may see this summer.

"I have Bradley, UIC, and Illinois offers,” he said. "I’m not sure who all else might offer soon. Other than visiting Illinois, I’m not sure who else I’ll end up visiting this spring. I haven’t really thought too much yet about what exactly I want in a school, either."

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