2005 Spotlight: Louis Williams

<i>Inside Carolina</i> continues its introductions of some early names that North Carolina is eying in the Class of 2005. Clint Jackson profiles Louis Williams, a Top 10 sophomore who emerged this summer as one of the nation's top talents.

It's commonplace at several AAU spring and summer events to see small huddles of folks

Huddles of assistant coaches. Huddles of recruiting analysts, newspaper reporters, rabid fans and the like. And most of the time they're discussing the talented young kids that they've just seen for the first time. Sometimes it's a kid that just dropped 30 points on a well-known prospect, or a seven-foot youngster with ten feet of arms who blocked 12 shots and ran the floor like a scalded dog.

Either way -- there's always huddles. Always new superstars to discuss. And there's always someone new to rave about.

This past spring at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions was no different. Same ol' folks in attendance -- from recruiting analysts to basketball writers to hyper-active fans with web sites. All folks who live and breathe college basketball recruiting. And overheard from just about every single one of those little huddles were two words ... Louis Williams.

Williams, a 6-foot-2 combo guard, was the talk of the tournament that weekend in Chapel Hill. Especially for the folks who watched the younger division.

Fans were raving about the long-armed guard who scored buckets of points, racked up boards and assists, and shook defenders into a frenzy off the dribble. He was simply putting up unbelievable numbers.

Williams put up the highest point total of the entire tournament – regardless of age groups – totaling 45 points in a win over the NC Gaters.

"I hope I can play well enough to come here," Williams told reporters after his big performance in the Smith Center.

He finished the weekend atop the 15-and-under scoring leaders, with 24.6 points per game.

And this is the norm for Louis Williams.

"He's on another level," said Bo Bell, his AAU head coach for the Georgia Stars. "He's a scorer, that's for sure. In fact -- he just put up 92 points in his last two high school games. He scored 50 in one game and 42 in the other."

Bell is obviously a big fan. And he thinks that Williams is not only the best in Georgia, but he's one of the best players in his class in the entire nation as well.

"We did a lot of traveling this summer and we played a lot of great teams, but to be honest -- I think Louis is the best player his age in the entire country."

Looking at his numbers so far this season it may be hard to argue with Bell.

Williams leads South Gwinnett (Ga.) with a scoring average that's simply ridiculous.

According to Bell, the athletic combo is putting up almost 37 points-per-game for the first seven games of the season, leading South Gwinnett to a 7-0 start. Tonight, though, Williams will face a tough test as Major Wingate and the squad from North Gwinnett are in town to battle.

For those who haven't seen Williams in action yet, Bell provided the rundown.

"Basically, he's very athletic," the Georgia Stars coach said. "He can shoot, he drives, he makes solid decisions with the ball and man, the kid knows how to score. In terms of raw talent, I haven't seen anything like him. He also rebounds very well."

And on the academic front?

"He's a sound student. He's consistent and he works pretty hard in the classroom, that's for sure."

As for the connection with the University of North Carolina, Bell says that Williams loves the program. In fact -- he's loved them for quite some time.

"I remember when he was in eight grade," recalled Bell, "he would come up to me and say that he wanted to go to North Carolina and play basketball. He still says that."

And the Tar Heels are well aware of Williams, as he sits atop their 2005 target list, but they may have company from some local schools that are already positioning themselves with the sophomore guard.

"Right now, it's North Carolina, Georgia and [Georgia] Tech," added Bell.

Bell also thinks that Williams may still be growing. His father is almost 6-5 and his mother is 5-11.

"I still think he's got some room to grow. He may get up to about 6-5 or more," Bell said.

And in the meantime, he'll be winning games and scoring points. Lots of them.

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