Checking in on "Big Nick" Williams

Marquette Head Coach Tom Crean and his staff are working hard to convince high school seniors to head to Milwaukee to continue their careers. As time goes on, no one really knows who will fill the available scholarships, with one exception…. Nick Williams, the 6'5 wing from LeFlore High School in Mobile, AL.

Marquette Head Coach Tom Crean and his staff are working hard to convince high school seniors to head to Milwaukee to continue their careers. As time goes on, no one really knows who will fill the available scholarships, with one exception…. Nick Williams, the 6'5 wing from LeFlore High School in Mobile, AL.

Williams gave his pledge to Tom Crean and Marquette more than a year ago, all the way back on August 2nd, 2006. Last year Williams helped his team take the Alabama state championship as well as win a few national tournaments including the Iolani Classic in Hawaii. The last two years Williams was a talented player on very talented team. Williams was a top 60 player nationally heading into the summer.

Over the course of the summer Nick's AAU team, Alabama Challenge, played well. The team was loaded with players like JaMychal Green and Andrew Steele, both headed to Alabama. As the team continued through the summer, Williams started to drop in the rankings. Seems odd for a player that had such an impressive high school season, but it was happening to Nick. "I noticed it, and I didn't understand why. I felt that I was playing pretty well, and I was getting invited to all of the elite camps, so it really did bother me at first, but I really don't care anymore. Do you know how many guys there are in the NBA that were never ranked? A lot, so I don't worry about it anymore. I just try to do my best."

Despite having the long standing commitment to Marquette, the phone calls and letters from schools kept coming. "There were a lot of schools that kept coming after me. There were two in particular that just wouldn't stop. It may me feel that I must have been playing pretty well for them to keep up the interest despite my dropping in the rankings, but deep down it really bothered me, I think the schools really should respect my decision."

Prior to playing summer ball ‘Big Nick' told MarquetteHoops.com that he really wanted to focus on improving his court vision and also the ball handling with his right hand, and Williams feels that he did improve. "I feel that I really came a long way. I kept working on the fundamentals. Now I am making passes that I never would have been able to make last year, and my ball handling has improved to. I feel that I am a much better player than when I started the summer."

The time when coaches can visit recruits has arrived, and Tom Crean wasted no time getting down to Mobile to see his star recruit. "Coach was down here Monday to see me play in the gym. It was really good to see him, it had been a while. Now they can only call me like twice a month or something like that, so it was really good to see him."

Next up for Nick is his official visit to the Marquette campus which he will take the second weekend in October when he will head to Milwaukee. "I'm really excited. It will be great to see the guys and see them play in an official environment. The last time I was there we played in pick up games and things, but this should really be fun. I do what I can to stay in touch with them, I call Dominic (James) and Wesley (Matthews) pretty often, I think it is important to build relationships with my future teammates."

As Nick looks to his senior season, he looks to be a leader. "I am really looking forward to it. We had a lot of seniors last year, so for the first time I will get to be a leader. I am looking forward to being in that leadership role."

In December Nick will be headed back to Milwaukee as LeFlore will play in the WBBY Shootout in the Al McGuire Center on the Marquette campus. That will be great. "I can't wait to get up there and showcase our team in such a strong tournament. It will also be special for me to be able to play in front of the fans in Milwaukee. It will be a great opportunity."

As Nick waits for his senior season to begin, he continues to work hard to become a better ball player. "I keep working every day to get better and better. I need to keep focusing on the small things as those will add up when I get to the next level."

So, Nick Williams is on board for Tom Crean's '08 recruiting class…. Who will be next?


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