Rising Junior to Watch: Marvin Williams Jr.

When you talk about the top big men in the Class of 2004, you can't omit Marvin Williams Jr. And when you talk about Williams, you can't leave out North Carolina.

The 6-8, 210-pound forward from Bremerton High (Wash.) is a versatile rising junior who was the top ranked player at the ABCD Camp – including all those a year older than him – after two days of action.

Williams, known more for his inside game and penetration skills, displayed tremendous versatility in New Jersey, knocking down a high percentage of his three-point shots and also showing a soft touch from mid-range.

He finished the camp fourth overall in player rating, trailing only senior Ivan Harris (Ohio State) and Georgia juniors Josh Smith and Dwight Howard. Williams scored in double-figures every game at ABCD (except the underclassman all-star game) and also was one of the top rebounders, hauling down an average of 8.8 boards per contest.

Williams has good footwork around the basket and is athletic, but he still needs to work on his ballhandling, put on some more weight and become equally adept at scoring in the paint with both hands.

"He needs to get the mentality to mix it up a little," said Bremerton coach Casey Lindberg. "Right now, he needs to be provoked."

Williams averaged 18.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and four blocks per game last season at Bremerton and he is young for his class, turning 16 in mid-June.

He has a 3.0 GPA and while most of the kids at ABCD Camp were more interested in making a name for themselves, Williams separated himself with his team attitude.

After a loss late in the week that knocked them out of the playoffs, Williams sat on the bench upset for nearly 15 minutes after the game ended. Finally, he was forced to leave the bench when the next game was getting underway.

This isn't all that makes Williams a rarity these days. He also reads Harry Potter books and still plays Nintendo, while nearly all of his peers have moved onto Playstation 2 or X-Box.

Williams, who plays with Seattle Rotary Select, spent some time in North Carolina when he was younger – and mentions the Tar Heels, along with Kansas and Washington, as his top three choices.

Rotary Select head man Adam Sedlik said that North Carolina has been recruiting Williams "heavily."

Williams said he wants to pick a school where he can have a "fun experience," but he's also looking for somewhere that will allow him plenty of television exposure as well.

"I really like Kansas, North Carolina and U-Dub (Washington) right now," said Williams, whose game has a slight resemblance to former Jayhawks star Danny Manning.

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