William Douglas

'Relieved' William Douglas commits to SMU

Four-star wing William Douglas talks about his decision to commit to SMU.

William Douglas didn’t want any more stress. So he ended his recruitment and committed to SMU.

“I’m kind of relieved,” Douglas said.

The four-star guard from Memphis (Tenn.) Christian Brothers committed to SMU Friday afternoon, becoming the Mustangs’ fourth player in the 2017 class. He joins point guard Elijah Landrum, forward Everett Ray and power forward Ethan Chargois. He’s the No. 28 shooting guard in the nation and No. 2 in Tennessee. At SMU, he’ll primarily play on the wing. With Douglas' commitment, SMU has landed a four-star recruit in three consecutive classes (Shake Milton in 2015, Harry Froling in 2016).

The 6-foot-4, 175-pound Douglas held offers from Alabama, Florida State, Marquette, Memphis, Michigan, Ole Miss, Oregon, Saint Louis and TCU. Before the AAU season, he didn’t have a lot of attention, but he shined this summer playing for M33M. He said his decision came down to SMU, Michigan and Ole Miss. He visited SMU on an unofficial over the summer and Ole Miss in September.

“SMU just stuck out the most to me,” Douglas said.

When SMU gave Jay Duncan recruiting responsibilities in July, Douglas was one of the first players he watched. Duncan, SMU’s first-year assistant, and head coach Tim Jankovich’s recruitment of him was unique compared to the other schools – they didn’t pressure him into committing or overwhelm with attention.

“He wouldn’t really talk about the other schools negatively as much,” Douglas said of Jankovich. “He was talking about the process as a whole and how it has to be up to me about what I want to do. I can’t let other people come in and influence my decision.” 

Jankovich knows from experience. He spent his freshman season at Washington State, but transferred to Kansas State, where he became an all-conference player.

“He told me that when he was being recruited, he fell for a bad sales pitch,” Douglas said. “To be honest, even if I didn’t commit to SMU, I’d still have a good relationship with him because he’s that kind of guy.”

Douglas talked with Jankovich on the phone at least once a week. Instead of constantly selling SMU, Jankovich focused on building the relationship.

“They weren’t really just about basketball. They were just checking in on how I was doing. I think they actually cared about me more as a person than a player,” Douglas said. “They just wanted to make sure I made the best decision I possibly could.”

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