The 6-foot-6 junior forward finished two assists shy of a triple-double – scoring 23 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out eight assists - in the Cards' 93-66 win over Georgetown College on Wednesday night in front of 15,837 fans at Freedom Hall in UofL's second, and final, exhibition game of the 2007-08 season.
"T-Will's playing great basketball," UofL coach Rick Pitino said. "He's been playing that way since the end of last year until now. He's taking good shots and playing good defense. He's playing brilliant basketball."
Williams hit 8 of 12 shots, including 2 of 5 from three-point range, and all five of his free throws in 30 minutes to lead five Cards in double figures.
"Everyone keeps saying, ‘Ah you should have got two more assists,' but we won the game," Williams said afterward. "Hopefully I can get it (a triple-double) in a real game."
The Cards also got 14 points from Derrick Caracter, a double-double (12 points and 12 rebounds) from Earl Clark, perfect shooting once again from David Padgett – who was 5-for-5 from the field – on his way to 11 points and 10 points from reserve Will Scott.
But the night belonged to T-Will, who thrilled the crowd right off the bat. He gave the Cards a quick 6-0 lead with a drive and layup and a four-point play after he was fouled on a three-pointer.
UofL led 13-5 after Clark's three-pointer, but the Tigers clawed their way back into the game.
Georgetown, which went 29-4, finished third in the final NAIA national rankings and lost to the Cards by just two (94-92) in an exhibition last season, trimmed Louisville's lead to 23-19 with just a little over nine minutes left in the first half.
But the Cards scored nine straight points, four by Jerry Smith, to build their largest lead of the first half, 32-19.
against Georgetown. (Troy Turbeville)
Padgett added seven points while Demetrius Guoins tallied 13 of his team-high 17 points for the Tigers in the first half.
The Cards led by 12 (52-40) early in the second half before scoring eight straight to take command. The run was capped by Williams' breakaway dunk attempt that was blocked from behind as he went up, then bounced off his face and into the basket as his hand followed the ball to the rim. It was something new out of T-Will's bag of offensive tricks.
"Shh…that's a secret, I really didn't dunk the ball," said Williams, who hit the ensuing free throw to complete the three-point play. "I went up and I didn't know there was anyone behind me and he grabbed my arm. I just laid it in and grabbed the rim."
Scott's three-pointer, midway through the second half, pushed Louisville's lead to 30 (74-44). All of Scott's points came in the second half.
UofL shot 56.9 percent (29 of 51) from the field and finished with 21 assists.
"We did a terrific job of moving the ball and executing," said Pitino, whose team also committed 25 turnovers. "But we still have a long way to go on the defensive end."
The Tigers shot 33.8 percent (22 of 65) from the field and had 13 steals to UofL's 11.
Louisville begins its regular season when it hosts Hartford on Nov. 17 in the first round of the Las Vegas Invitational.
"Seventeen days, hopefully we keep going up," Williams said.
But after the game Williams seemed to be equally excited about the holiday.
"You all going trick or treating? Or are you guys too old for that?" he asked some reporters in the locker room, then added, "I'm going trick or treating."
Future Star Visits
Louisville commit Samardo Samuels visited Louisville Wednesday and was in attendance for the Cardinals 93-66 win over Georgetown (KY) College.
Samuels, Scout.com's second-ranked prospect nationally in the Class of 2008, is expected to sign with Louisville during the early signing period in November.