Blistering start

With the departure of Marcus Thornton after this season, the Tigers will be looking for another player to come in and be a big-time scoring threat off the wing. Aaron Dotson should fill that void next season, but Trent Johnson and his staff are targeting a few more wing players in the 2010 class to give Dotson some help.

One of those targets is Brian Williams from Baton Rouge.


At 6-5, 186 pounds, Williams has the size and versatility to play either the 2 or the 3 position, making him an ideal wing player in college. But before he moves outside and to the next level, Williams is going to be banging down on the low block at Glen Oaks High School this season.


“I think we have a Final Four caliber team this year,” Williams said. “I’m going to be playing power forward this year, even though I want to play shooting guard in college, but I want to do whatever I can to make my team better.”


As a sophomore, Williams played the 2, 3 and 4-spots and averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds a game. Thus far, he is off to a blistering start and is averaging 23 points a game factoring in the 26 he went for on Tuesday night against Capitol.


To help his team reach the Top 28 in Lafayette, as well as become an all-state pick this season, Williams realizes there are a few improvements he needs to make to his game.


“I need to work on my rebounding and decision making,” he said. “My guard skills and ball handling could use some work too. My strengths are definitely my shooting and jumping ability, and I’m comfortable shooting from anywhere.”


Finding a consistent outside shooter like Williams is not an everyday opportunity for most colleges, so it’s no surprise to hear Williams has started attracting recruiting attention before his junior season got underway.


“I get letters from LSU, USC, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, and Minnesota,” Williams said. “Right now I have offers from LSU, Southeastern and Oklahoma State. I’ve talked to coach [Trent] Johnson from LSU occasionally and I’ve talked to coaches at Southeastern and ULL too.”


Even though he is getting a lot of early attention from different schools, don’t expect a decision from Williams anytime soon. He does, however, have a timeframe for when he would like to make his college choice.


“I’m looking for where I fit in best and have a chance to play early,” he said. “I want to come in and compete for a spot. I’ll probably commit and sign in the early period next November.”


As for the hometown Tigers, Williams is very familiar with the program and is interested to see the new direction it will take under Johnson.


“I like LSU,” he said. “I remember in 2006 when they went to the Final Four. I know about Shaq and Pete Maravich, and I know they send a lot of guys to the league. They’re rebuilding now, and I think I can be big part of their new program.


“Coach Johnson tells me about his new system and what he expects out of his players,” Williams continued. “He wants me to come in and be a shooter. I like the direction that he’s taking the program and the fact that it’s close to home is a big plus.”


Williams says he stays in touch with Johnson and the rest of his staff as much as possible even initiating the contact on his own.


“I talk to Coach Johnson and Coach [Donnie] Guerinoni once or twice a month,” he said. “They came to see me over the summer at nationals and at camps, and they tell me their plans for the future of the team.”


While Williams has yet to see Johnson on the sidelines at LSU, he has seen the Tigers’ new coach in action before.


“I know Coach Johnson has a great passion for the game,” Williams said. “The first time I saw him coach was when they played Marquette last year. They won at the buzzer, and he was into it the whole game. I like a coach that is that intense and I could see myself playing for a guy like coach Johnson.”

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