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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Rising Senior Marcus Williams Reportedly
Commits To UConn--(Aug. 26, 2002)

Those who predicted that former Crenshaw (and soon to be Oak Hill) rising senior Marcus Williams (6'-3" Sr. PG) would pick UConn when he visited there this weekend had a lot of foresight into the situation, which is more than we had going in.  When we last spoke with Marcus and his dad in late July, he was still considering UCLA, and was talking a lot about USC even though the interest for the Trojans was only slight, and it appeared that UConn was indeed the favorite.  But Marcus' father, Kelly Williams, gave us no indication two weeks ago that a decision would be forthcoming this soon, even though Marcus was planning to take an unofficial visit this past weekend.   Well, something must have clicked on the visit, because according to an article published in today's Hartford Courant, which quotes Marcus' father, Kelly Williams, Marcus given a commitment to the Huskies to attend there next year following his senior season at Oak Hill.   And according to the Hartford Courant story, Kelly Williams also says that Marcus will likely now not take a previously scheduled visit to Georgia Tech in September.

Here's the story, with some additional background from another piece from the same paper which preceded the story from today's paper (the earlier article says that Crenshaw made it to the State semifinals this past season--that's not correct.  They made it to the City Section second round before losing to Fremont, the earliest exit that the Cougars have made from the playoffs in recent memory; there are a couple of other inaccuracies in the story as well when it comes to background facts, but we won't quibble with those here).  

The commitment of Williams to UConn would effectively put the brakes on any and all further recruitment by the Bruins, who are now focusing most of their attentions at the point guard position on Aaron Brooks.  Of course nothing is done until it's done, and Williams won't be able to sign a National Letter of Intent until November.

Guard Of The Future
Williams Makes Oral Commitment

August 26, 2002
By MATT EAGAN, Courant Staff Writer

STORRS -- Marcus Williams apparently has decided not to wait.

The 6-foot-3 guard from Los Angeles made an oral commitment to UConn Sunday morning, according to his father, Kelly Williams.

Williams, who is ranked among the top 40 high school players in the country, was traveling from Storrs to Los Angeles Sunday and could not be reached for comment. 

Kelly Williams said his son probably will not make a scheduled visit to Georgia Tech on Sept. 21.

Marcus Williams' decision is surprising only because it comes so soon. From very early in the summer, it was clear UConn was at the top of his list.

"I love the program," he said in July.

When he was at the Nike camp in Indianapolis, he said the Huskies were in his top three. He narrowed that list to UConn and Georgia Tech soon after the Nike camp, but it was clear he favored the Huskies.

Williams, who will play this year at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, played at L.A.'s Crenshaw High School, Kevin Ollie's school, the past three years. As a junior last season, he averaged 26 points and 10 assists and led Crenshaw to the Division I state semifinals.

The Huskies were no doubt helped by the Ollie connection. Though they have never met, Ollie saw Williams play at Crenshaw. Williams said he was impressed by the roster of players from UConn who have played in the NBA. Ollie is one of those, and just happens to have helped build the legacy Williams continued at Crenshaw. That legacy, Williams said, is something that grows on a player.

Williams said Saturday he would wait to make a decision until after his visit to Tech, but also indicated he was heading to UConn unless he saw something in his visit he didn't like.

Williams, who has not yet taken the SAT, is the first player to make a commitment to UConn for next year. The Huskies, who have two more scholarships available, now will likely focus on landing a big man from among players such as Brandon Bass, Courtney Sims, Josh Boone and Hassan Fofana. 

Bass, a 6-8, 230-pound forward from Baton Rouge, La., might be the next priority. Bass, considered one of the top 30 high school players, averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds for Capitol High School as a junior.

As of yet, no visit has been scheduled.

The Huskies have been visited by Sims, a 6-10, 220-pound center from Dedham, Mass., and Boone, a 6-9 forward from Mount Airy, Md., though neither visit was official. As for Fofana, a 6-9, 260-pound center, he said earlier this summer he was very interested in UConn.

But Fofana said his process may take a little longer to get started. He said he is transferring from Holy Name in Worcester to Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., and that his recruiting process might drag into January.

Ready To Follow In Ollie's Footsteps?
August 25, 2002
By MATT EAGAN, Courant Staff Writer

STORRS -- Marcus Williams is on a fact-finding mission, just to be sure.

Williams, a 6-foot-3 point guard from Los Angeles, made an unofficial visit to UConn Saturday. He said he wanted to make sure reality meets his expectations.

"I'm here to see how the players are, get a feel for the social life and everything," Williams said. 

If everything goes smoothly, it seems likely Williams will be at UConn in September 2003.

"I would have to see something that I question," he said.

The only other school he is considering is Georgia Tech. He said he plans to make an official visit there Sept. 21, but made it clear his order is: 1, UConn; 2, Georgia Tech.

Any chance his visit to Atlanta could change that?

"A lot of things would have to catch my eye there," Williams said.

Williams, who said he has not taken the SAT, is a link in the long line of great guards to come from Crenshaw High in Los Angeles.

Kevin Ollie was another. 

It's a link Williams takes seriously. At the Nike camp in July, he said it was impossible to not know about the legacy at Crenshaw. He did his best to join the list last season, averaging 26 points and 10 assists, leading Crenshaw to the Division I state semifinals. He is transferring to Virginia prep school Oak Hill Academy for his senior year. 

"It's a chance to get used to the weather and get used to being away from home," Williams said.

It's also a chance to escape the chaos that can envelop basketball players in L.A. "There's a lot of distractions as far as the gangs and the girls," he said.

There are a lot of attractions to Storrs. In the last decade, UConn has produced more than a dozen NBA players. The style of play suits Williams' game. The team will need a point guard in two years when Taliek Brown leaves.

And, finally, he said, from the minute he arrived, the coaching staff has talked about academics.

On the flip side ...

"I've never seen snow," Williams said.

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