Versatile Williams Catches IU's Attention

Six-foot-eight, 190-pound Mississippi product Latavious Williams has caught plenty of college coaches' attention with his versatility - including Indiana. Williams talked to HoosierNation.com about his interest in Indiana and the importance of the summer AAU season...

Bloomington, Ind. – Things are beginning to heat up for Latavious Williams.

The 6-8, 195-pound forward from Starkville (Miss.) High School is Scout.com's 75th-ranked player nationally, and it's a ranking that could be on the rise this summer. He's coming off a solid showing at last week's Real Deal Tournament in Fayetteville, Ark., and he's hoping to be in Houston, Texas, at the Kingwood Classic next weekend.

Williams, who at times played alongside future Hoosier Bud Mackey on the Midstate Ballerz 16-and-under squad last summer, knows how important the AAU season is when it comes to exposure.

"This (summer) is really big for me," Williams said. "You get seen by coaches, so that's really important. You can make a big name for yourself if you play well."

Williams has already done enough, though, to get noticed by plenty of programs, including Indiana. In turn, Williams has taken a liking to the Hoosiers as well, ranking Coach Kelvin Sampson's program in his top four.

"There are four out in front – Clemson, Indiana, Xavier and Virginia Tech," Williams said.

One of the traits college coaches covet is versatility, and Williams has an abundance of that. He's long enough to be an imposing shot blocking presence, but he's athletic enough to step out to the perimeter as well and either score or defend. He used those skills to earn second-team All-State honors as a junior, averaging 22 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks while helping Starkville H.S. to a 30-3 record and an appearance in the state tournament's Final Four.

Williams' high school coach, Greg Carter, said his standout has gone from being primarily a rebounding and defensive weapon to someone who gives opposing teams headaches with his offensive skills.

"What I try to do is if they're bigger than me I'll go to the outside because there's no way they can stop me, and if they're smaller I'll play inside," Williams said.

After spending a good portion of the 2006-07 season ranked No. 1 in state and coming close to capturing a state championship, Williams is hoping to bounce back as a senior and win a state championship, but he's also got one eye on what unfolds on the recruiting front. Indiana is a program he expects to take a close look at as the months go on.

"Indiana is a good school," Williams said. "They've been talking good so far. They said they like that I have an inside game and outside game for being so small, and I can play well. It sounds like a good school."

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