In a pivotal day for Georgia Basketball and the Dennis Felton era, the Bulldogs picked up commitments from in-state teammates Louis Williams, the No. 11 player in the Rivals75 for the class of 2005, and Mike Mercer, the No. 28 player in the same Rivals75.
The two have always told RivalsHoops that they intended on playing college basketball together but after Mercer committed to the Bulldogs on Thursday night, Williams was surprised by the quickness of the decision.
“We wanted to do it at the right time so everything would be picture perfect,” Williams said. “We always knew that we wanted to do it together so when he did it just spur of the moment, it caught me off guard. Coach told me this morning so I went ahead and committed to them today.”
Mercer, who was also considering Florida and UCLA, said he just got caught up in the emotion of the trip and gave his pledge to Dennis Felton & Co. a little earlier than Williams might have expected.
“I just felt it was the right time to do it. It felt comfortable. I’m happy with it and figured why not do it now,” Mercer said.
Williams said he wanted to wait a little longer in the recruiting process but after his backcourt mate pulled the trigger, it only made sense to follow up and do the same.
“I didn’t really want to do just yet because from the stand point of (committing in the summer), I had all of the time in the all to ask the right questions so to deal with all of this in the middle of a school day has been pretty crazy,” Williams said. “But, it is a sigh of relief now. I can just play ball and win state.”
Williams is a 6-foot-2, 165-pound combo guard who specializes in scoring the ball. He has good athletic ability and a dazzling array of shots. He is one of those scorers who can only really be guarded by himself when he exercises poor shot selection. On every possession, he is capable of getting his shot.
North Carolina made a strong push for his services, but it was not enough to overcome his Georgia ties and desire to play with his South Gwinnett (Ga.) High School teammate Mercer, who committed to Georgia on Thursday night.
Mercer is a 6-foot-3, 170-pound point guard who also has the size and skills to play the shooting guard position. Mercer was one of the more sought after point guards in the country.
“Me and Louis have been playing together for so long, we just know everything about each other. It would just feel weird not seeing him on the court at the college level,” Mercer said.
Mercer is averaging 18 points per game, while Williams is scoring at a 27 points per game clip for South Gwinnett. That lethal scoring combination mixed with their in-region rival and future UGA guard Channing Toney’s skills will make the Bulldogs a tough game on the SEC schedule.
“I’m excited for it and can’t wait to play in Athens. I think we can make the SEC better because we can compete night in and night out. We’re nice and deep with Channing, Levi Stukes and the other guys they are working on getting,” Williams said.
“I’m hoping that UGA will be known as a basketball school now, not just football. We are going to take that issue very seriously and put the basketball program out there and on the map.”