May 11, 2009
Former IU guard set for first official visit
Nick Williams said Monday night he has one last chance to make the decision that is best for his college basketball career.
The former Indiana guard will make that decision in the next two weeks, and on Tuesday, he'll begin an official visit to the school that he currently lists as the leader for his signature.
Williams, a 6-foot-4 guard from Mobile, Ala., will spend the next couple of days in Oxford, Miss., visiting with Andy Kennedy and Ole Miss. The last few weeks have been hectic, but the trip to Ole Miss is a sign, Williams said, that things are beginning to crystallize.
"People are really kind of trying to sort it out," Williams said. "I've come down to three schools, really. It's Alabama, Missouri and Ole Miss. Alabama and Ole Miss have offered. I've talked to Missouri on and off. I think I'm kind of halfway (to a decision).
"I haven't taken any visits yet, but I'm between Alabama and Ole Miss. If I had to go to somebody, it would be Ole Miss -- slightly. They called me first, but I've always been in love with Alabama. I'm an Alabama boy, but Ole Miss has the upper hand right now. That's kind of what I'm thinking right now.
I'm really just taking everything in right now. I'm at home right now. I'm just really trying to get my thoughts together on what I want to do and what will fit me."
Williams, who started 29 of 31 games at Indiana as a freshman, ranking fourth on the team in scoring with an average of 8.9 points per game, will have to sit out the 2009-2010 season, but he'll have three years of eligibility remaining when he becomes eligible to play in 2010-11. He's spent a lot of time recently with his former LeFlore High School coach, Otis Hughley.
"Otis has just really told me I have no more chances," Williams said. "Wherever I go now, it has to be the absolute best place for me. He's been my mentor since the eighth grade, and whatever he tells me is the absolute truth."
Williams gave Ole Miss serious consideration when he was a senior at LeFlore. Alabama wasn't in the picture then, but the Crimson Tide has gone through a coaching change, with former Florida assistant and former Virginia Commonwealth coach Anthony Grant taking over. Williams said he doesn't know Grant, but he has some ties to the Tide.
"I played AAU (basketball) with (Alabama guard) Andrew Steele and (Alabama forward) JaMychal Green. I know (UA assistant) Coach (Antoine) Pettway. He was my favorite player growing up, so that's pretty cool. It's just really early right now with them. I haven't talked to them much, but they're still heavy on my mind because I'm an Alabama fan."
On Tuesday, however, Williams plans to turn his mind completely to Ole Miss, and with school out of session and most of the players home on break, Williams figures to have Kennedy's undivided attention.
"I've only been to Mississippi one time," Williams said. "I was passing through. I just want to get a feel for the campus, even though the players aren't there. I want to get a feel for the city and see how things work there. I want to see how much I can learn and get to know the coaches a lot better. We'll see what comes out of it."
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