Williams Ready to Help Right Away

Bloomington – Tom Crean is in need of some recruits who can step in and play right away, and he's likely found one in Nick Williams. Williams will bring a 7'0" wing span, and the ability to play both inside and out according to his prep coach, Otis Hughley...

Bloomington – Tom Crean is in need of some recruits who can step in and play right away, and he's likely found one in Nick Williams.

The 6-5, 200-pound Mobile (Ala.) LeFlore H.S. standout committed to Indiana Monday, signing a Big Ten tender to play in Bloomington starting in the fall. He picked the Hoosiers over Arkansas shortly after returning home from an official visit to the Razorbacks' program this weekend.

He'll arrive on Bloomington's campus ready to play right away, according to LeFlore H.S. coach Otis Hughley.

"He had a several places talking to him about playing early, in the ACC, the SEC, and at Marquette he was going to play early," Hughley said Monday. "There wasn't a place he was thinking about that he wouldn't have played right away.

"I'll tell you this, if anybody is ready to play right away, he is."

Scout.com's 32nd ranked shooting guard nationally, Williams averaged 21 points and seven rebounds this past season while playing alongside top-10 '09 big man Demarcus Cousins. LeFlore went 30-3 this season, was ranked in the nation's top 20, and advanced to the Class 6A state tournament semifinals.

The arrival of Cousins last fall was big for Williams because it allowed him to move to the perimeter. Hughley said Williams had been used in the post for his first three seasons because he has a 7'0" wing span and was easily the team's best scorer in the paint, but Cousins' presence allowed him to move to the wing.

Now, he'll head to Bloomington as a proven scorer inside and out, and someone who should be a big part of the Hoosiers' rotation next fall.

"They're getting a Dwyane Wade-type," said Hughley. "He's a different kind of player (than Wade), but he might be better at this age than Dwyane was.

"He's someone you can play wherever you need him. He's one of those guys you just have to put on the floor. He's long, rangy, and can score in a number of ways. He's really versatile."

While that versatility undoubtedly caught Crean's eye, Williams' personality likely did as well, according to Hughley.

"He has a Greg Oden-type personality," Hughley said. "If you don't like Nick, you don't like anybody. He's a great, great kid. Not a good kid, a great kid. He comes from a great family and you can just tell he's been loved his whole life."

He's also a great addition to IU's '08 class which has doubled in the last two days. Over the weekend Vincennes (Ind.) J.C. guard Devan Dumes committed as well, joining fall signees Matt Roth and Tom Pritchard in the Hoosiers incoming class.

Williams originally pledged to Crean nearly two years ago when he was coaching at Marquette, and ultimately followed Crean to Bloomington after he was named as Kelvin Sampson's replacement last month. While he had plenty of quality options, Hughley said Crean made the sort of impression that others couldn't overcome.

"Nick really liked the way (Crean) develops players," Hughley said. "He likes the way he'll play young guys right away. He did a really good job with Nick. There are a lot of guys that do a good job, but (Crean) out-worked everybody and showed the most interest initially and Nick hasn't forgotten that."

That's good news for the Hoosiers, who are getting one of those hard-to-find impact players in the late signing period, and someone who should continue to blossom over the next four years.

"Coach Crean has great ideas about how to play Nick, and he also understands how much better this kid is going to get," Hughley said.

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