MADISON – Former Valparaiso junior guard Lexus Williams won’t know for a couple days if he will get the opportunity of not to join Wisconsin basketball 2017-18 roster. After his visit to campus Wednesday, he’s certainly hoping for the chance.
Looking for a new landing spot for his final year of eligibility, Williams called his time around the Badgers program “a great experience.”
“The visit went really well,” Williams told BadgerNation. “I got a great vibe from the coaches, a great vibe from the players on the team and it was just a good experience overall. I can definitely see myself being a Wisconsin Badger. I met with Coach Greg Gard and he said he was going to talk over some things with the staff and make sure they were moving forward in the right direction.”
“The vibe I get from him is really good,” Williams added about Gard. “He seemed really genuine and he was really honest with me, and I really appreciate and respect that.”
Wisconsin has two scholarships available for the 2018 class and the pursuit of a graduate transfer seems high on Gard’s wish list. The Badgers hosted former Oregon guard Casey Benson last week but saw him commit to Grand Canyon University, located close to his home in Phoenix and where his older brother is on the staff.
Like Benson, Williams brings plenty of experience that could benefit a group of UW scholarship guards who have each played less than one season of college basketball.
A Horizon League All-Freshman in 2014, Williams dealt with injuries earlier in his career (a torn ACL prior to the 2014-15 season and a broken kneecap while rehabbing) but rebounded to average 5.2 points and two assists last season. He also had a team-high 46 steals.
“Coach Gard and I talked about being a leader a lot, and that’s what I am used to doing,” Williams said. “That’s what I’ve done since I’ve been in college, even high school (Chicago Marist) and AAU. I’m the type of guy that’s very vocal, great character guy and a good guy to rally around and come together for the ultimate goal. I think that their system is set up perfectly for that. All five guys on the floor might touch the ball the first 20 seconds, but me being the point guard, getting the ball back with 10 seconds left on the shot clock, I think that I could relish in that system."
Speaking highly of his campus and facilities tour, Williams also was impressed of his meeting with the head of the leadership graduate program.
“That really intrigued me because education is still important to me,” Williams said. “I want to get a master’s degree that’s worth something. After basketball, I have to have to plan, and I do. I think that program would really help me succeed in my life after basketball.”
Williams will visit New Mexico State this weekend and could potentially set up a visit to Northwestern. The Chicago native said he wants to make a decision before the end of May.
“I want to be in a place that felt like family,” Williams said. “I don’t want to go to a place where it’s a one-and-done type of thing. I want to have a long term relationship with the coaches, the community and even with the players.”