Big-school looks for Williams

Marvin Williams is a clear-cut Top 10 talent in the Class of 2004. That much isn't in question. But his college choice? That's another matter entirely ...

Ever since his dazzling performance at the ABCD Camp this past summer, there just hasn't been all that much time for Marvin Williams to get through his latest Harry Potter book or play Nintendo.

Harry Potter? Nintendo? That's right. The 6-8, 215-pound Bremerton High (Wash.) junior is an old-school kid who's received plenty of big-school looks over the past five months.

Williams has emerged as a consensus Top 10 player in the Class of 2004 primarily because of his versatility and unselfish play. He can step out and knock down the 18-footer or post an opponent up with a wide-array of moves in the paint. He rebounds well, can handle the ball better than most guys his size and has a great touch in the lane. Williams averaged 18.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 4 blocks per game as a sophomore and has put up 23, 29 and 20 in his first three games this season while leading the team to a 2-1 record.

"He's real intelligent and has over a 3.0 GPA," Bremerton coach Casey Lindberg said. "He's just so coachable and is such a quick learner."

Williams said there was a mistake involving a recent Seattle area published report which said he had narrowed down his list to six schools – Kansas, North Carolina, Washington, Oregon, Duke and Arizona. The report was picked up by numerous Internet sites without any attribution and therefore everyone took it as factual.

But while Williams said that there could be other schools that enter into that group of six, those are the primary contenders as of now.

"That was a mixup," Williams said. "I like those six, but I'm still open to any others as well. I haven't made up my mind or anything like that and I don't have a favorite."

The biggest criticisms of Williams had been that he needed to get stronger and develop more of a mean streak while on the court. He has spent the last few months in the weight room and said that he's gotten more of an edge when he needs to.

Williams' father, Marvin Sr., spent some time living in North Carolina when he was younger, but the younger Williams said that won't really be much of a factor when he's choosing a school.

"I've only been there once when I was in the ninth grade," he said. "The most important things for me are education and going somewhere where there's a good basketball program and a good tradition."

Williams was thinking of getting everything over with on the early side, but he's so busy with schoolwork and his junior season that he's going to put it off a while longer.

The comparisons have been to guys like Danny Manning, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, but Williams doesn't pay attention to any of that. When asked what he needs to improve, his answer is consistently "everything". He answers with "Yes, sir" and "No, sir" and would never in a million years be caught uttering his name in the third person a la LeBron James.

Then again, Williams plays Nintendo and reads Harry Potter. It's a good guess that LeBron hasn't done either of those lately.


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