Surprise, surprise. Alabama guard Nick Williams made an early decision and the Southern is headed to the Big East. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound guard from the class of 2008 made his decision shortly after returning home from the AAU 17 and under national tournament in Orlando.
According to his LeFlore (Ala.) High School coach Otis Hughley, Williams verbally committed to Marquette.
"His dad has always been a huge fan of Marquette," Hughley said. "He grew up watching Al McGuire when he was there. It only made sense that his son is going there. They were the ones that educated me on Marquette."
Williams is a major coup for Tom Crean and his staff. The class of 2008 prospect held offers from Auburn, Cincinnati, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Florida State and Oklahoma. Williams participated in Marquette's camp earlier in the summer and actually verbally committed to the Big East school, according to Hughley, but decided to wait things out.
"After he saw that they were one of the pure basketball traditions that showed consistent interest in him, he decided that was where he really wanted to go," Hughley said. "I think he just needed more time just to clear his mind."
Williams is a strong guard that continues to improve his overall game. In high school, he plays more in the post but with the Alabama Challenge AAU team, Williams has been able to show off a confident game from the wing. His overall skill set just grows, says his coach.
"Tom Crean is a fine teaching coach," says Hughley, "and he's been able to do some great things with guys like Dwyane Wade and Steve Novak. I think Nick is actually more skilled than both of those guys at this age and he's just turned 16 years old. He's going to be really good."