Two years ago at the Southern Shootout, a long-armed forward came to Atlanta from a neighboring state and did some serious damage inside the paint on both ends of the floor. From there, Trevor Booker kept improving his game all the way to a great freshman year at Clemson.
This year, Latavious Williams is doing the same thing.
Williams, a forward cut from the same mold of Booker, was the biggest surprise of the Southern Shootout last weekend. The 6-foot-7 junior from Starkville (Miss.) High School could very well blow just like Booker did this spring and summer.
Playing with the Birmingham Raptors, Williams displayed a developed post game and had a great set of paws and quick feet on the blocks. Defensively, he was quick off the floor for blocked shots and despite his relatively thin frame, he didn't mind throwing his body around.
Williams, a three-star prospect, said he does feel like he has to play with a sense of urgency this spring.
"It's real big because I don't have a lot of schools looking there so playing ball is going to help get me there," he said.
He isn't holding any offers for the moment but the interest is certainly mounting. Williams said Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Connecticut, Clemson and Southeast Louisiana have been in to see him this season. He recently had to cancel a visit to Indiana due to a schedule conflict.
Naturally, the Starkville native said the hometown Mississippi State Bulldogs have watched him closely but said the SEC school is on an even playing field with everyone else.
"Is Mississippi State going to be the team beat? I don't know," he said. "It's a little too close to home. We'll see."
More of a four than a three right now, Williams said he's trying to expand his game to the three-point line but also improve his existing strengths.
"I know I need to get bigger and work on my handles and keep working," Williams said.
That work should turn the interest into offers this spring. He is well on his way.