Williams returns to the SEC

Almost a year ago, Donald Williams was faced with a difficult decision.

His former team, the University of Kentucky, was undergoing a coaching change. Billy Gillispie was let go and replaced by John Calipari, who led a young, albeit talented, Wildcat team to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.

Williams could only watch as some of his old teammates dazzled on college basketball's biggest stage. He was one of three announced departures in May of 2009, and had opted to take his talents to Antelope Valley Community College.

"When they changed coaching staffs, I just thought it was in my best interest to find a new start," he said last week of his decision to transfer. "I just did not feel like it was the right situation for me. That's really all there was to it."

Williams was redshirted as a freshman at Kentucky. There were thoughts of transferring to another Division-I school, but he would have had to sit out another year.

Donald Williams

Instead, he packed his bags for the West Coast and got back to work. In his first season at AVCC, he was named First Team All-Conference and finished in the top-20 in scoring for the state. He averaged 19 points in conference games and 17 points for the season.

His play certainly didn't go unnoticed. Another Southeastern Conference school, Ole Miss, came calling. The Rebels needed help from an athletic three-guard. Williams was a possibility as a 6-foot-7, 215-pound small forward.

Other prospective colleges showed interest as well, including North Texas, Coastal Carolina and Rutgers. However, distance was sure to play a major factor into his decision.

Williams committed to Ole Miss Sunday.

"Just the guys and the coaching staff," Williams said of why he chose Ole Miss. "They seem to really care about each other and the staff really cares about their players. I had good interactions out there. I like the campus, too. It's a great distance to home with that move, so I won't be far from home. I'll get to see my family and friends. That was a main thing that I liked."

Originally from New Orleans, La., Williams hopes to make an immediate impact.

"They just told me they think I can really help them in certain situations in games," Williams said. "They feel I can help immediately. I have a good motor and I can score the ball. I've got good height and athleticism, so I'm going to come in and help. I'm all about winning. I compete to win."

A four-time All-District selection, Williams has three years to play three at the next level.

"Just tell (Ole Miss fans) to come out to all our games and support the team," Williams said. "We're going to try and do our best."

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