Q&A - Nigel Williams-Goss

With the Las Vegas AAU Tournaments fast approaching and Pac-12 Football Media Day just days away in Los Angeles, Dawgman.com's Kim Grinolds headed south to Sin City to catch up with future Washington point guard Nigel Williams-Goss. Williams-Goss had plenty to say in the nearly 20-minute conversation; here are the highlights.

What city did you like the best this summer? - "I'd say when I went overseas and we went to Europe and went to Prague - that was pretty cool. That was the first time I had seen a country besides Canada. That was a pretty cool experience…nice city."

What was cool about it? - "Just the old architecture. Here in the United States we don't have architecture as old, with older buildings. We're a newer country compared to the rest of the countries of the world, so it was cool to see the old architecture, stuff like that."

What city had the best food? - "The best food…that's tough. We just got back from LA and we went to Roscoes Chicken and Waffles, and that was pretty good. Yesterday I had a waffle, a chicken breast, two wings, yams, macaroni…"

On juggling academics with basketball - "Well it's pretty easy for me just because…it's probably tough for those that have big social lives. I'm definitely social, but I have my priorities straight. Just prioritizing your time makes everything easier. When you have your priorities in order you know what's important, you know what you have to do and what has to be done. So you get it done, get it out of the way. If you don't procrastinate you'll get it done. If you do it right when you get an assignment and get it out of the way it makes it easier."

Has it always been easy for you? - "My freshman year at Findlay it was tough…it was my first time really traveling as much as we did. I was in all honors classes, so it was tough. But mid-way through my freshman year it got easier. I got used to it."

I know you're from Portland, but is Vegas home now? - "Yeah, definitely. I've been here the last four years. I spend my entire high school career here, so I definitely feel like it's home."

On going back to Portland - "It feels like going back to home too. I don't know if you can have two homes, but if you could it would be Vegas and Portland. I feel very comfortable when I go back there; I have a lot of family and friends there. So every time I go back to Portland it makes me happy and I have a good time there."

On Oregon and Oregon State recruiting him after he moved to Vegas - "Definitely. Both Oregon and Oregon State recruited me really hard. Oregon State was actually my first scholarship offer when I was in the eighth grade. They recruited me for a while, and Oregon really started recruiting me hard near the end of my junior year."

Is it fair to say you had a big jump between your junior and senior seasons? - "I would say there was in publicity. I improved every year, but I always produced at a very high level every year I was in high school."

Do you think you're a top-50 player in the country? - "In my opinion, definitely."

Top-25? - "Yeah."

Top-10? - "Yeah, I would say."

And you don't seem bashful talking about that. - "No. I just think…if you look at my body of work throughout my high school career I would put my accomplishments and what I did throughout all four years at the level I did it at against anyone."

Does it get you fired up when people say you aren't athletic? - "No. I know I'm not the most athletic player. You've got guys like Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose who are just crazy athletes, so that kind of becomes the standard. If you aren't up to that standard you're considered average athletically. But when you are able to produce at every level like I have I'm not too worried about it."

How did you get it done? - "My basketball IQ and the ability to perform at my best when my best is needed - whether it be at the end of games when it's needed, or if it's a big-time game."

On choosing UW early in the process and the turning point - "I had developed a relationship with coach Romar and the whole staff in seventh grade. I went up to U-Dub and played in their high school elite camps, which is usually for juniors and seniors in high school. I was only in the seventh grade. I went there and I was able to hold my own and play pretty well. I think that opened the coaching staff's eyes. We just developed such a great relationship over such a long period of time, the comfort level with coach Romar was head and shoulders above everyone else."

On de-committing from UNLV when they changed coaches - "It wasn't too hard because I committed to UNLV when I was a sophomore and coach (Lon) Kruger left. Fortunately for me I had a long time left, so I knew it was going to be okay. It wasn't toward the end of my senior year when I needed to make a change, so it wasn't too tough on me. When coach Kruger left it was kind of a natural decision to open back up my recruitment to see who they brought in and go back to the drawing board."

On players' reactions when they find out you're going to Washington - "Yeah, it's about going to the right fit. We all have goals of wanting to win in college and winning national championships and we all want to play well…you just have to go to a school that fits your style of play. You have to be comfortable in the system that you're in and you're starting to see even in the NBA how players are coming in from all kinds of different colleges - mid-majors to high-majors. It doesn't really matter where you come from these days."

Do you have a sense of the Seattle prep tradition and how that's carried over to U-Dub? - "Yeah. I think any time you can perform at a high level and while you're doing that you can bring attention to your city or your upbringing it gives you a sense of motivation. When you're playing for a school that's two hours where you're from it kind of gives you that extra drive to make sure you're representing your area as best you can."

Have you had much interaction with the local U-Dub guys? - "Yeah. Last time I was up there for my official (visit), Isaiah (Thomas) was up there. So I got to talk to Isaiah. Any time I see Quincy Pondexter and Matthew Bryan-Amaning or Abdul Gaddy out here in the summer league, those guys are real nice, real accepting of me coming to their school. Everyone seems like a close-knit group up there."

What is coach Romar expecting from you right away? - "He just expects me to come up there and play basketball the way I know how to play it. Like I said, the fortunate thing for me and for him is that we've gotten to know each other over the last 5-6 years, so he has a really good idea of what I can bring to the team. First and foremost, he's going to expect me to come in and be one of the hardest workers on the team, because he knows that's something I've done throughout the course of my high school career. He just expects me to be the player that we both know I am."

Have you seen the difference between coach Romar and Lorenzo? - "Yeah. Coach does a great job of being one way off the court but being the serious tough coach that he is on the court. He also does a great job of getting along with his players, laughing and joking. And that's one of the things that I liked best was that you could have a relationship with him on and off the court."

On not doing the LEAP program - "I don't know exactly what the requirement was, but because of my 4.0 GPA they said it wasn't a requirement that I go."

What will you study at UW? - "I'll probably double-major in psychology and communications."

Where do you want to go with that? - "By double-majoring you have so many options. I think that's one of the things that intrigues me the most about having two majors. I don't have to necessarily know exactly what I want to go into. I have a lot of options. We'll wait and see exactly what to pin-point where I'm going with it, but those two fields are what I want to study."

What number will you wear? - "I'll wear number 5."

Who else has worn that number? - "(Will) Conroy, I know Conroy did because that's the one everyone talks about. I know Aziz (N'Diaye) did last year."

Have you ever spoken to Will before? - "No, I never have. I know he had a great career there and did a lot of big things for the school. I know he's gone on to have a very good career so any advice I can get from him would be well appreciated."

On the new coaches - "I know (T.J. Otzelberger) is new to the staff. I'm looking forward to getting up there and starting a relationship with him."

And the guys in his class? - "I've known Jahmel (Taylor) for a really long time…probably since third grade I've known Jahmel. And Darin (Johnson), we were both on our official visits together. I'm definitely in contact with those guys all the time, and I know they are up there right now. We're excited to get up there as the incoming freshmen."

On both NWG and Taylor having a pit bull attitude on the court - "That's always good to have on a basketball team…that fiery spirit and that competitiveness. I think as many guys as you can get to have that is only beneficial to the team. It's really contagious and I hope we can spread it to the whole team."

On being up for his official visit during the Washington State game and what that was like - "I was definitely excited. Watching that game, as a competitor and as a player that just loves to play the game of basketball, those are the types of environments you want to play in - so it definitely got me excited."

Any last thoughts for UW fans? - "I leave on Wednesday to go to Seattle, so I'm excited to get up there and start my college career."

Nigel Williams-Goss Scout.com Profile

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