Williams Trims List To Three

Montverde (Fla.) Academy power forward Devin Williams is on the verge of the most important two months of his young life. As a college commitment draws closer for the big man, things could be getting easier after he recently arrived at top – and final – three.

Montverde (Fla.) Academy power forward Devin Williams is on the verge of the most important two months of his young life. After cutting his final list of schools down to three – Ohio State, West Virginia and Memphis – things could be getting easier.

According to AAU coach Mike Duncan, Williams most recently eliminated UCLA, Xavier and N.C. State from his list. A 6-8, 225-pound power forward who played for Cincinnati Withrow a year ago, Williams could be close to announcing a final decision.

"He is going to commit early and he is making his own decision. It is totally up to him," Duncan told BSB. "Devin said he wanted to commit early to get it over with so he can focus on his books and he focus on the season coming up. I don't know when a decision is coming, but it seems like it will be sooner rather than later."

Ohio State head coach Thad Matta spent an ample amount of time tracking Williams' junior season at Withrow on the big man's way to averaging 15.2 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists for the Tigers. The Buckeyes, however, didn't formally offer a Williams a scholarship until July. Williams has been high on the Buckeyes ever since, especially given the program's success developing big men during Matta's tenure.

"He likes the way they did Jared Sullinger because they're similar players," Duncan said. "They both don't really leave the floor and they are very successful. He scores, not like Sullinger, but he really liked the way Thad Matta told him he'd be used, which is similar to the way they did things with Sullinger. They see him as that type of kid."

Memphis remains the furthest from his Cincinnati home, but Duncan said both Ohio State and West Virginia offer Williams the ability to play close to his friends and family. Being close wasn't the only criteria for the big man's list, however, as he eliminated Xavier because he didn't want to play collegiate basketball in his hometown.

"He wanted to get out of Cincinnati," Duncan said, "but he is from Ohio. He said that if he went to Ohio State everyone would see him play, all of his friends, his mom and his grandma. The same thing goes for West Virginia."

Williams could take a trip Ohio State in November, but Duncan said that discussion is still ongoing in regards to setting up his visits. Williams, however, is quite familiar with the Buckeyes given the program's proximity to his Cincinnati home.

Rated as the No. 21 power forward in the 2013 class, Williams transferred to Montverde because the Florida program plays a more competitive schedule. Though he feels he's in the best place to properly prepare himself for the college game, Williams has all intentions of returning north after his prep career comes to a close.

Memphis remains in the hunt because Williams has developed a strong relationship with Tigers head coach Josh Pastner. "He said he liked the way the coach recruited him," Duncan said. "The way Josh Pastner talked to him and recruited him, that was a positive thing."

Williams was considered by many as a player who was on the fringe of being elite during the course of last season, but the big man has seemingly picked up his game. That's likely the reason Ohio State eventually came through with a scholarship offer. Duncan, however, said he's seen big ability out of Williams for quite some time now.

"In my honest opinion, that kid is a top 50 kid in the country," Duncan said. "For the last two summers, he just ate every big man up that he went against and we play in major tournaments. He just outplayed a lot of the big men he went against."

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