Big Ten Media Day: No More Forward for Mike Williams

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Of all the sweeping offseason changes for Rutgers basketball, junior Mike Williams may be most excited about a semi-position change in his on-court role.

Rutgers junior guard Mike Williams on his first Big Ten media day...

“Here at media day, I'm enjoying it a lot. You get to talk to people you don't normally get to talk to. When you're inside that hardwood, it's pretty much all business. No friends. So coming here and being able to just converse with other people, it's been a pleasurable experience.”

On the best defenders and rebounders starting...

“I've focused on that a lot. I've been one of the best defenders, I feel, on this team over the last two years. Me playing defense is not really that different. I'm just taking in every little tip that coach [Jay] Young has given me. He said I can be one of the best defenders on the team and probably in the Big Ten. I've been listening, buying in, feeding off the energy. That's what I've been doing. I need to rebound now. I didn't do that last year. I'm excited about that.”

On a taller roster and not having to play power forward...

“Thank God. Now I finally have some big bodies to get in there to bang with and I don't have to be down there getting hurt like I was last year.”

On experience defending guards like D'Angelo Russell and Melo Trimble...

“I already know what to expect now. I'm not going to fall for the same old tricks that I fell for when I was a freshman. I was guarding a former Ohio State great in D'Angelo Russell, a former Penn State great in DJ Newbill. I pretty much know what to expect now.”

On playing as former opponents in NBA 2K17...

“I've been a fan of D'Angelo since I was in high school. I played against him in the EYBL circuit. Me and him were going at it. I've always been a fan of his, but now that he's in 2K, it's crazy. I'm thinking, 'I just played against him.' I'm happy for him but also envious because I want to be in the same position he's in.”

On Rutgers newcomers and attitude...

“Everybody coach Pikiell brought in that he recruited has jumped automatically on board with us. They want to win now. Every time we get out [of a huddle] we say 'dance.' We mean it. We're all just ready for November to come, so we can show the world what we're all about.”

On NCAA tournament aspirations...

“We do it just like we've been doing. Come in every day and work. Everybody, every practice that we've been in has been great so far. Everybody has bought in. The energy, everyone is healthy now. Everybody is stronger with our new strength coach [David] VanDyke. We're all just really bought in, like I said. I'm prepared. We're preparing ourselves for November.”


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