Gamecocks ink Williams

When Brenton Williams come out of high school, he didn't sign with an NCAA college because he was hoping that the major schools would come calling. A year later, he answered the bell by committing to South Carolina on Saturday.

"I was really excited," Williams said of sending in his letter of intent Monday. "I'm looking forward to joining the program next year.

"When the opportunity came up, the first thing I noticed was the conference they were in. It was one of the top conferences in the nation, and I knew I would get to play against the top players."

South Carolina hadn't recruited Williams long, but assistant coach Neill Berry moved quickly and efficiently to get the guard on campus.

"When I went on the visit (last weekend), I liked the area," he said. "I didn't want to pass up the opportunity. I looked at what coach Horn had done in the past and his experience."

Some schools didn't take to the talented guard because of his size and stature, but that didn't stop the Gamecocks.

"He's 5-foot-11, 165 pounds," Santa Fe Community College (Gainesville, Fla.) coach Chris Mowry said. "I would call him a combo guard.

"A really good comparison is (former Ole Miss player) Chris Warren," Mowry said. "Not a lot of big schools came after Warren, but he had a big career. I think Brenton is that type of player."

So in Mowry's eyes, what kind of player is Williams exactly?

"He's extremely athletic, very fast, very quick, jumps out the gym," Mowry said. "He's an outstanding scorer getting to the rim and shooting it from deep. He's an exciting basketball player. He has the tools to become an outstanding defender, and he's a very good rebounder for his size.

"He's a very quiet young man. He's the type of kid that will be liked by the fans and the faculty. He has a great basketball IQ, and he's very coachable."

According to Mowry, N.C. State, Clemson, Tennessee and South Florida were the major schools on him this season, and he had multiple offers from other schools.

"When South Carolina looked at him, they saw all of the positive things," Mowry said.

"Brenton is an athletic guard who has a great ability to make shots," South Carolina coach Darrin Horn said in a release. "He will fit in well with how we want to play."

South Carolina came down to watch Williams play a couple of weeks ago, and things escalated from there.

"They liked my ability to score and to breakdown the defense to get my teammates open," he said, "and they liked my ability to get out into the open."

So what's appealing to Williams about South Carolina?

"What is attractive to him is their type of play," Mowry said. "They're not a halfcourt team, and they're an up-tempo team and put pressure on you."

"(I like) how the area is city-like and not town-like," Williams said. "It's not really big, but it's big enough for me and fits me well.

"It was a big thing that my parents were happy with me committing there. My parents were planning on moving there a couple of years ago, so they were really excited."

Out of Osceola High School (Kissimmee, Fla.) Williams averaged 25.7 points for a 22-3 team. At Santa Fe, Williams averaged 11.8 points, according to Mowry.

Because of a Florida rule, Williams missed the first part of his freshman season.

"He did not play until Jan. 12," Mowry said. "He only played 10 games."

Williams will have three years of eligibility left at South Carolina.

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