Coach speaks on Terrence Williams

It's been an eventful off-season for Mike Bethea. A little less than a month ago the head boys basketball coach at Rainier Beach High School saw his star senior center C.J. Giles pick the Jayhawks as his future team. Now another star from Bethea's Seattle squad could be nearing a decision.

Senior-to-be Terrence Williams (6-5, G) is in Lawrence this week, seeing for himself just what Giles enjoyed so much about Kansas basketball on his visit last month. Earlier today Coach Bethea appeared on KLWN's "Rock Chalk Sports Talk" in Lawrence and said Williams' recruitment could be shaping up to be a two horse race.

"I think it's actually come down to Kansas and Louisville. He's very interested. You know, of course he has C.J. (Giles) one of his closest friends there already. But he wants to come down, check it out and when he comes back we're going to sit down and make a decision."

That decision could come very quickly upon Williams' arrival back home in Seattle.

"I think (it will be made) within a week. He told me before they start their little summer circuit with the AAU stuff, he told me, 'Coach we'd like to have this thing done so I can relax and have a fun summer.'"

Whichever school Williams picks, one thing is for certain -- someone is about to get an extremely gifted athlete that deserves to be considered among the nation's best, according to his coach.

"You look at him and say 'Oh my God, a 17 year old with a frame like that?', I mean he's about 210-215 pounds, and as quick as I don't know what. And you know Martell Webster who plays up in our league and another Kansas signee, Micah Downs. I mean he rates right up there with both of those guys. We just played Micah a few weeks ago and it was basically a standoff between he and Terrence."

Kansas fans would love to see those standoffs turn into teamwork with both Downs and Williams wearing crimson and blue. If Williams picks Louisville though, the only teaming up these two Washington state stars would be doing might be at the the McDonald's All-American game. Bethea described what Williams likes about the Cardinals.

"I think one of the biggest things that Louisville had going for it was Coach (Rick) Pitino. He's so strong. His personality is so strong. His track record speaks for itself. The fact that he'd have someone like Reggie Theus who will be kind of like mentoring him, similar to how Danny (Manning) is going to be mentoring C.J. That's great. That's really, really attractive to Terrence."

Both Pitino and Kansas coach Bill Self have been on a roll this off-season landing one big commitment after another. Should Kansas win this battle and pluck another player from the Pacific Northwest Bethea thinks Kansas would be well on its way to establishing quite a pipeline from that region of the country.

"Yeah, I think Kansas has found out that we actually play basketball up here," Bethea said with a laugh.

"They found it out four years ago when they tapped Portland and then went a little bit further north and found that we play even better basketball up in Seattle."

Check back for more very soon on this standout from Rainier Beach High School.


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