"He fell in love with the whole program of Connecticut," said Marcus Williams' dad.
Williams returned home last night after taking an unofficial visit to Connecticut this past weekend. But before he got off the campus, he had given head coach Jim Calhoun a verbal commitment. Williams, a 6-1, 190 pound point guard from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., will sign a letter of intent in November with Connecticut.
"Coach Calhoun is a straight shooter," said Marcus' dad. "Marcus loved the campus. He really bonded with coach Calhoun and his assistants. Marcus knows that he will have a chance to play some minutes as a freshman. He might not start but he will get a chance to earn some minutes. That's what Marcus wants. Just a chance."
Williams also considered Georgia Tech, Oregon, and Washington. Tech was right behind and closing the gap until Williams took his visit to Connecticut this past weekend. "When this whole recruiting thing started out, he was leaning to UCLA," Marcus' dad stated. "He was offered by UCLA. But then coach Lavin started looking at other guards. Marcus wanted a chance to see other schools. He told that to UCLA. But it just didn't work out. It's tough that Marcus will be three thousand miles away. But UCONN is trying to set up a game with UCLA in the next year or so. It would be nice to see Marcus play here."
Mr. Williams did say the most important factor to Marcus in making his decision in favor of Connecticut involved a chance at the big prize. "Winning a National Championship," he said. "Marcus feels he can come to play for Connecticut as a freshman and have a chance to win a National Championship. This is what he has always wanted to play for."
A native of Los Angeles who attended Crenshaw H.S. the past three years, Williams is a smart floor leader. He rarely finds himself in a tough position on the court -- meaning Williams doesn't trap himself in the corners or give his defenders an advantage when he handles the ball. "Some told me he wasn't a pure point guard," Marcus' dad said. "Marcus can shoot the ball. So many of these experts think because a guard can shoot, he can't be a pure point guard. But Marcus can distribute the ball. He will get better too because he will play a tough schedule at Oak Hill this season."