KSR visits Mike Williams

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After spending time at tournaments in Myrtle Beach and Raleigh, it was time for the third city in five days on Saturday. The first game of the day pitted Alexandria (VA) Bishop Ireton against Brooklyn (NY) Canarsie and featured Kentucky signee Mike Williams. There aren't many evaluations of the big guy out there so it was interesting to see him live.

The first trait you notice about Williams is his size. The England native stood 7-feet, 275-pounds. You just don't see that size often, so my initial thought was ‘can he move'? The answer came quickly.

Bishop-Ireton's guards like to push the ball, so Williams has no choice. If he wants the ball he has to get up and down the floor, and he does. Bishop Ireton standout isn't the fastest, by any means, but the kid plays hard, never stops running and showed great endurance throughout the game.

With Kentucky assistant Scott Rigot looking on Williams threw his weight around in the paint, but rarely got touches. So the big guy started working harder. Eventually he began calling for the ball and finally was the recipient of a few lob passes, which he handled well by drop stepping and throwing it down on two different occasions.

The drop step wasn't the only move the big guy showcased as he displayed the ability to use both hands around the basket. Williams was also able to snag a handful of offensive rebounds and most of them led to points or trips to the free throw line, where he showed a very pretty stroke(he went 7 of 9 in three games at the shootout).

While he did those things well, Williams still has a ways to go to become a solid college player.

First, Williams must make a commitment to getting in shape. Losing 25 to 30 pounds would help his speed and ability to get off the deck. In order to play in the SEC Williams must also improve his speed and agility. While he was active the entire game, he rarely blocked shots because of being late to the defender or not being athletic enough to make the play.

Williams finished with 19 points (8 of 11) and 8 rebounds on Saturday. He averaged 17 points over three games in the event. After his game against Carnarsie, Bishop Ireton coach Mark Vincent and Williams talked about his recent play and development.

KSR: What does he need to prepare himself for Kentucky next year?

Coach Vincent: "He really needs to take his time in the post and slow down and make moves. He needs to keep the ball up high. I think once he gets to Kentucky and really works on his body they'll lower his body fat and get him down."

KSR: How do you think he's been playing lately?

Coach Vincent: "He's got to realize he's getting double and triple teamed every night. I think he's playing very well. For a big guy he can make free throws. We've got to get him more comfortable with the basketball and handle it a little bit but he is 7-foot. He's done a great job. He works and always has a positive attitude."

KSR: Describe your game, what kind of player are you?

Mike Williams: "[I play] with my back to my basket and inside. I can shoot it a little bit, but I don't really get a chance to. I also get a lot of offensive rebounds."

KSR: Is it frustrating not getting many touches in the paint?

Mike Williams: "Some games [my guards will] give it to me and some games I don't get it. I just make sure I get boards."

KSR: When you were making a decision, what stood out about Kentucky?

Mike Williams: "I really like Coach Smith. When I took my visit down there the campus was amazing. The way their team is and with Coach Smith I think I'll learn a lot from the coaches."


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