TIREY: Adam Williams anxious to get started

In the last two weeks, KSR has given you comments from two-thirds of the 2005 recruiting class for the University of Kentucky basketball team. There is only one member of the class you haven't heard from lately. Time to change that. Read the latest on Adam Williams.

In the last two weeks, KSR has given you comments from two-thirds of the 2005 recruiting class for the University of Kentucky basketball team. You've heard from Rekalin Sims, the junior college first team all-American, and Jared Carter, the seven foot, one inch center from Scott County, Kentucky. There is only one member of the class you haven't heard from lately. Time to change that.

Adam Williams, the six foot, four inch guard from St. Albans, West Virginia is getting ready to finally make his way to campus. Williams will start summer school around June 9. It's been a long time coming for the young man who committed to Kentucky and head coach Tubby Smith three years ago. "It's been taking forever, you know," said Williams. "I'm glad I'm finally going to get there. The wait's been too long, really. But that's all right. The time is about here, and it was worth the wait." After graduating from high school, Williams took the prep school route, and has spent the last year at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. IMG is the same school that produced Ramel Bradley for the Wildcats.

What did Williams learn at the prep school level? "I saw a lot of things I'm going to see next year in the SEC," said the guard. "We played against top competition. All the junior colleges around Georgia and Florida. They had a lot of talent. So really seeing the talent level I'm going to play against next year is what I think helped me the most." But Williams had some adjusting to do when he arrived at IMG. "Around here [West Virginia] in high school, I was always more athletic than everybody. And when you step up to the next level, the playing field is evened out. I couldn't really take advantage of my athleticism as much as I did in high school." What did he learn? "I learned how to play better. I learned more of the skills of the game, playing smarter. I still think I'm as athletic, if not more, than anybody I've played against. But now I slow down, and just let the game come to me, the fundamentals, things like that."

Williams has been getting a little help in workouts from, of all people, a former Florida Gator. Brett Nelson is a native of Williams' hometown, St. Albans, West Virginia. "Me and Brett are buddies. I've known Brett since I was six or seven years old." And Nelson has been working with Adam on a couple of aspects of his game in particular. "The thing he has helped me with the most, my shooting is really a lot better. He just showed me a few little techniques that I wasn't doing before, even that I didn't pick up at IMG. He's helped me more than anything else I've ever done. It's amazing to me how much better just working with Brett has made my shot. At Kentucky, I'm going to have to play the two, and help bring the ball up the floor. I've been working with Brett on my ball handling, too, in my workouts." But the two isn't where Williams envisions himself for the Cats next season. "I think personally, that I'm going to have a lot of time at the three. Maybe not a lot of minutes. But I think that's where I'll get a lot of my minutes, is at the small forward spot. We're going to be pretty deep at shooting guard next year. You've got Ramel, Pat, Ravi, and Joe Crawford. All of those guys are really good two guards. I think I'll log most of my minutes at the small forward, by my estimate. I'm sure Coach Smith will put me where he sees I'm going to help the team the most."

With summer school around the corner, Williams is looking forward to one thing on campus. "There's one thing I haven't been able to get, being here in West Virginia. I'd like to get into some pickup games with some good talent. When I get down to school, playing with the guys on the team, there won't be anything better for me than that."


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