We went to see the state's top 2014 prospect, Gaffney SF/SG L.J. Peak recently against Wade Hampton and ended up getting our first look at 2015 post prospect Jalen Williams. The 6'8 245 pound prospect had a very strong performance despite his Generals losing to Peak's Indians 96-88. We caught up with Williams afterwards and he caught us up to his speed regarding his recruitment. He currently holds just one offer but we expect that to change in the near future as he's got a lot of potential moving forward with a superb foundation to build upon, that's why he's "UP NEXT" with SCPrepNation.com!
"Yes sir. Right now I'm averaging about 15 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks per game." Williams told us.
In the game against Gaffney he appeared to go for 20+ points, 12+ rebounds, and had some really nice assists out of the post. In today's game when a lot of post players are face up players who like to roam around the free throw line or around the three-point line Williams is a true post prospect who operates best with his back to the basket.
Seeing him in person for the first time Williams has a great frame and wide shoulders. He spent time on the AAU circuit the past two seasons with a team out of North Carolina but may change up this off season.
"I've played with Team United the past two seasons in EYBL but this year I'm still undecided waiting until after the season."
In talking with Williams he knows his strengths and areas for improvement and he shed some light on both ends of the spectrum for us.
"My strengths are being able to score one on one on the block to make a move. I think I'm a pretty good passer out of the post too. I communicate well on defense, my rebounding, and just being a good overall teammate are my strengths."
"My conditioning can continue to improve which is what I've been doing since the summer. I want to continue to be a better teammate and leader vocally. I want to continue to improve my jumpshot and touch around the basket as well as my ball handling. I also want to work on my explosion."
Thus far Williams is hearing from a number of smaller schools and he already has one offer from an in-state program.
"Presbyterian offered me a couple of weeks ago. I'm also hearing from Winthrop, Georgia State, Houston, Jacksonville, and USC Upstate. Clemson has asked about me and is interested but have not contacted me directly. They have talked to one of my assistant coaches about me and said they like me."
Having his first offer already in hand what does it feel like for Williams?
"It feels like a huge cloud of not being noticed has been lifted off my chest. Its a humbling process and I'm thankful for it to be my first offer but it feels surreal at the same."
Williams actually went to visit Presbyterian on an unofficial visit on Saturday to check out their campus and facilities.
In talking with Williams we found out that he lost between 45-50 pounds prior to this season in order to take his game to greater heights. That dedication has paid off with him receiving that first offer and Williams says he's ready to improve on all facets of his game to see just how many offers he could potentially land.
The 6'8 245 pound prospect also told us some of the schools he'd like to hear more from in the near future moving forward.
As his junior season is winding down Williams talked with us about his best game of the year so far.
"I would probably say the game against Greer in the FCA tournament. I had 19 points and 20 rebounds. It was special because it was my first time reaching those number of rebounds and I was in a offensive and defensive zone where I wasn't just scoring like most players say when they are in a zone. I was making the right basketball plays scoring and getting teammates involved and that helped us get to the championship game."
Wade Hampton's record is 14-6 currently and 7-5 in the region.
Watching Williams on Friday he reminded us of a post player who is currently in the NBA and he said himself that a lot people have told him that his game is similar to that player.
"I've always been told that I remind people of Jared Sullinger."
The 2015 prospect also does great work in the classroom as he reports a 3.9 GPA currently and says that he'll take the SAT and ACT in March.
SCPrepNation.com will have more updates with Jalen Williams as we expect his stock to rise pretty rapidly in the near future so keep it right here! We'll also have game highlights of Williams in action against Gaffney so stay tuned!