Shelden Williams update
8/30: Williams visited Duke last weekend, the school he has said is his leader for some time now, and left with positive comments but no commitment.
Meanwhile, hometown Oklahoma received a commitment from Williams' high school teammate at Midwest City HS DeAngelo Alexander (WG, No. 50 in our Consensus Rankings). The Sooners also hired Terry Evans, Midwest City's head coach, as an assistant.
Williams also has a scheduled trip to Illinois in the near future.
North Carolina rounds out Williams' list of four schools - but do the Tar Heels have a legit shot?
"Well, they made his final four," Bob Williams, Shelden's father, told IC's Clint Jackson yesterday. "Duke is still his leader, [but] I know that North Carolina ... he's still going to visit them."
While the official visit to Chapel Hill has been scheduled for Oct. 6, IC has learned that that date could be moved up to as early as Sept. 15 or 22.
8/24: Exclusive - Shelden Williams Video!.
8/5: Williams will visit Duke on Aug. 24, according to EliteHoopRecruits (link). There is heavy speculation that Williams could commit to the Blue Devils while in Durham.
8/3: "I think he matches up great against bigger, slower men. He definitely has the body to bang down low defense, and would absolutely abuse and foul out most centers on the other end of the court..." (AAU Nationals: Shelden Williams)
7/26: Williams discounted rumors that he's a lock for Duke in an interview with Mike Sullivan of RivalsHoops.com.
"My top three are Duke, North Carolina, and Illinois," Williams said. "Duke still has the slight lead. But this does not mean I am set to go there. Any rumors that I am about to commit there are untrue." (link)
He said Duke, North Carolina, and Illinois will all get an official visit, and he'll choose two more from a pool of Syracuse, Oklahoma, Michigan, Kentucky and Kansas.
7/19: Williams' father told Clint Jackson that Duke still leads Illinois and UNC, and a decision could come soon after the summer events.
7/14: It's been a solid week-plus for Williams at the Nike Camp and then the Peach Jam.
"Shelden's greatest assets remain his strength and athleticism in the lane, but his shooting range has expanded to 17 feet and he now can even drill shots off the dribble," writes PrepStars.com's Rob Harrington. "Boxing him out is a must for opponents, because his quickness off the floor and long arms make him very dangerous on the offensive glass. And Williams' shot blocking is a strength for the same reason; he routinely jumps straight up with a shooter and rejects his shot forcefully. And his power game is still in effect; Shelden can back down most post defenders for nice jumphooks."
6/25: Williams told Mike Sullivan that he plans to make five official visits this fall before deciding. He stressed that his top three still stands at Duke, UNC and Illinois - with Duke holding a "slight" lead. (link)
6/19: Williams was in Colorado Springs last weekend at the USA Festival. His stats - 16.6 points (44% FG, 25% 3pt), 5.4 rebounds, 2.2 blocks.
"Shelden usually had three guys surrounding him every time he got the ball near the basket. He got his points, but had to work for them. He looked to have the ability to score out to about 15 feet. He can dribble the ball in heavy traffic inside without losing it ..." (USA Festival Report)
Dave Telep's Evaluation - "Williams started out the event extremely hot and he was one of the best players in camp. It looked like he wanted to make a concerted effort to show his perimeter skills. On 0-7 from 3-point range really skewed his perimeter stats a little and made most of his open jumpers but was a little inconsistent once guys started getting a hand in his face. Defensively, he was a big-time shot blocker and challenged a lot of shots. He wasn't the dominant low post scorer that we've seen him be, but we know he has that in him. When he did go to the blocks his skill and strength was evident." (BCH link)
6/16: Williams reaffirmed what's been known for the last few months - Duke is in the lead (link).
He's playing this weekend at the USA Festival and according to Dave Telep, has been quite impressive thus far: "It's obvious PF Shelden Williams has been working on his game. For starters, he's a chiseled 6-9, 225 pounds. But, that's not what's most impressive. In a brief scrimmage session that wasn't played nearly anything close to full speed, Williams was on top of his game. His perimeter stroke looks real good [hitting four threes]. Williams, guarded by Torin Francis, was able to get Francis away from the basket and connect on a number of perimeter jumpers." (link)
6/13: Williams said he will make his decision in the fall and discusses his trip to France and various other topics in an interview with The Devils Den. The highlight is his explanation for his nickname "The Landlord" - "When I'm on the court my opponents are my tenants and they didn't pay their rent!" (TDD link)
6/7: Williams was on the USA team which won the Douai World Basketball Tournament in France over the weekend. He was named to the All-Tournament team, averaging 15.2 points and a tournament-high 9.2 rebounds per game. Jawad Williams, the incoming Tar Heel freshman, was a teammate of Shelden's.
Upon his return, Shelden told Clint Jackson that his top three schools right now, which he plans to visit officially, are Duke, UNC and Illinois.
5/8: Williams' high school coach Terry Evans told the Fayetteville Observer that Duke might not be such a strong frontrunner. "Duke and North Carolina lead Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma." (link)
5/3: In an interview with the Devils Den, Williams listed Duke, North Carolina, Illinois, USC, Stanford, Kentucky, Kansas, and Oklahoma. "Right now I have Duke leading on my list," he said. (link)
4/5: Williams says five schools lead the pack: Duke, North Carolina, Illinois, Arizona and Stanford. link
4/3: "I hate to say the intimidation factor, but that's what he brings to them. He stalks the paint. Anybody who brings it in there, he sends it out. He's a guy that at any moment can take over a game. Defensively, blocking shots, running the floor ... whatever you want to talk about, he can hurt you." (link)
3/30: AEHoops says Williams has his list down to eight schools - Duke, North Carolina, Stanford, Southern Cal, Illinois, Arkansas, Kansas, and Kentucky. He aims to decide by the end of the summer. (link)
3/27: Williams was named to the Parade All-American Fourth Team for his impressive junior season, averaging 19.7 points, 11.1 rebounds and 4.7 blocks.
2/8: If you haven't already, make sure to check out the EXCLUSIVE Shelden Williams Report, with extensive interviews, photos, stats, and a game report by correspondent David Thompson.
1/27: "Duke, Illinois, Arizona, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Southern Cal have offered me a scholarship," Williams told the All Star Report, "but I've also gotten a lot of interest from North Carolina, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa, Iowa State, UCLA, Seton Hall, and Tennessee. I don't really have a leader right now."
1/3: Williams averaged an impressive 22.3 points and 13.7 rebounds at the Slam Dunk to the Beach tournament before plenty of coaches from top schools, including UNC and Duke.
HMH's Clint Jackson - "This kid has an NBA drop step and is big and strong. His agility is very good for a big guy and he's got excellent passing ability out of the post. Has the potential to be the number 1 junior in the nation, if he keeps improving."
Dave Telep - "One of 2002's Top 10 prospects. Brute rebounder with inside skills."
"His game is based on strength and rebounding and, in my opinion, is very similar to the game of another Williams that some of you oldtimers might remember - Buck Williams ..." (Jeff's Williams Evaluation at Slam Dunk)
10/24: HighMajorHoops.com Williams Player Card: "Williams is a strong and agile power forward who has great lateral quickness and adds great upper body strength to finish in close to the basket. Very good rebounder and shot-blocker on the interior. Great defender on the perimeter and on the blocks. Nice soft hands to catch ball in traffic. Effective scorer against the double team and good court awareness to pass out of bad situations. Leads a talented core of players from Oklahoma next season."
9/21: FOXStudentSports.com's Jacey Zembal informs us that a UNC assistant was in Midwest City, Ok. yesterday to watch 6-7, 225-pound PF/C Shelden Williams. "His early leaders are UNC, Duke, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Illinois," Zembal said. (UNC asst. travels to Ok.)
8/29: Clint Jackson, of HighMajorHoops.com, informed us that Williams made a brief unofficial visit to Chapel Hill about three weeks ago. The tour of UNC was one of two visits Williams made while in the area. He also unofficially visited Duke. "I enjoyed both visits very much," Williams said.
7/15: RecruitingUSA at the Big Time Tournament -- "Williams played strong inside for Athletes First. He can score inside, but he really contributed here with his defense and rebounding. A good athlete, Williams seems to have added some toughness to his bountiful skills in the key."
12/25: Dave Telep on Williams -- "This monster forward has a sweet perimeter touch and is going to be one of the most sought-after players in the Class of 2002."