Williams Will Sign LOI with Colorado

Calvin Williams

<!--Default For Memphis is to ignore-->Memphis (Hillcrest High), Tenn., basketball player <!--Default NodeId For Calvin Williams is 995742,2004--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:995742]>Calvin Williams</A> will hold a press conference today, Thursday, at 11 a.m. central time and sign a letter of intent to play basketball for <!--Default For Colorado is to ignore-->Colorado, according to his coach John Anderson. The 6-foot-8 Williams is expected to be the only player CU will sign this year.

Anderson has been coaching at Hillcrest since 1987. In that span, he said he's sent 17 kids to Division I basketball programs.

Coming into this season at Hillcrest, Anderson had thought Williams, a senior, would play on the perimeter because of his ballhandling skills. But two Hillcrest post players moved out of state over the offseason for personal reasons, and Williams has spent early season practices in the post.

Still, Anderson likes Williams to have the ball in his hands.

"He's a guy that's projected to be 6-10," Anderson said. "He's got long arms, big hands. He can dribble it, pass it, shoot it. In my opinion he stands the chance of being very good on the next level.

"His footwork and concentration around the basket are very good. But his skills say he's a perimeter player. There's too many good things that happen with the ball in his hands for you to take the ball away from him."

Williams verbally committed to play at Colorado very early in the recruiting process. So early, that he and his parents rethought their commitment at one point and opened up the process after several SEC schools showed interest.

Per NCAA rules college coaches are not permitted to discuss individual players they are recruiting until they've signed an LOI, but Williams' high school coach talked about the 17-year old's recruiting.

"When kids sign scholarships, they'll say, ‘I want to go to this school, or that school,'" Anderson said. "But actually, they're not going to the school, they're going to play for the coach. It just so happens that the coach works for the university.

"I think it was Ricardo Patton (that drew him to sign with Colorado)."

According to Anderson, Patton was recruiting another player when he saw Williams and mentioned the player's upside to Anderson. Anderson told Williams' father of Ricardo's comment, and the elder Williams went on the Internet to find out about Patton and Colorado.

Mr. Williams liked what he saw, Anderson said, particularly stories about what Patton has done with his players — like an eye-opening, educational visit to an area prison.

"That's how the kid ended up making an early commitment," Anderson said.

But living in SEC country, it was difficult to resist the attention the southern schools showed once they woke up to Williams' potential.

"Auburn, Ole Miss., Tennessee, South Carolina, Miami, they came in and they came in hard after the kid," Anderson said.

Anderson said Patton made a smart move and scheduled his in-home visit late in the process, after the other schools had been in the Williams home.

Patton and assistant Jason Shelton visited the Williams home and sealed the deal.

"After the home visit the parents said ‘We are satisfied and we are going to stick with our first commitment,'" Anderson said. "That's why I say it has more to do with the coach than the school."

CU has 12 players on scholarship this season, none of them seniors. Except for any unforeseen attrition from the 12 student-athletes, the Buffs have just the one scholarship to give, meaning Williams will be in a class by himself.

Anderson thinks it's a good class, nonetheless.

"There's no doubt, (Patton) got himself a steal," he said.

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