Posted: 4:08 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013
By Charles Doss
In March, Kam Williams took a visit to Ohio State and watched the Buckeyes take on the Fighting Illini of Illinois. He told Land-Grant Holy Land "The visit was awesome from start to finish. They showed me all the new additions like the locker room and pools. All the guys showed me love, cool dudes and of course the game was great, big time atmosphere, great crowd. I really had a great time."
Fast forward a few months and the 6-2 175 pound combo guard calls those "cool dudes" teammates and that big time atmosphere and great crowd will soon be the fans cheering on the now freshman Buckeye, after making a steal or throwing down a thunderous dunk, as he is known to do from time to time.
Williams, a native of the Baltimore, Maryland area, was named Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year as a Junior. As a senior, Williams led Mount St. Joseph to an overall record of 31-9 and a BCL championship title for the second consecutive year. In the championship game, Kam put up 14 points in front of his now head coach, Thad Matta, and was named to the First Team All-Tournament Team for the third time. Participating on the All-Star game circuit and going up against some of the top players in the nation, Williams showed he was one of the top all-around scorers in the whole 2013 recruiting class.
The four star prospect participated in the Nike Global Challenge and was also named MVP of the 40th Annual Capital Classic after racking up 25 points, including knocking down a few key threes to help his squad get the victory. At the Inaugural West Coast All-Star Classic, Williams chipped in 21 points and continued to display his talents from beyond the arc.
Even with all the accolades, Kam was a semi-under-the-radar recruit and received his offer from OSU after impressing the coaching staff during the live period on the AAU circuit. Williams received scholarships from programs like Clemson, Marquette, Rutgers and Virginia Tech, but in end chose Columbus over the sunny beaches of Miami, who were his one time leaders, according to some analysts.
High School Stats: 21 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists per game as a senior
Williams is a hard nosed ball player who can play either guard position on the court. What he might lack in overall size, he makes up with a warrior's heart and toughness that many Baltimore natives have displayed over the years, including former Maryland and NBA guard Juan Dixon (who Kam reminds many scouts and even OSU assistant Dave Dickerson of). Williams has a sweet stroke and uses his soft jumper to knock down buckets from all over the court with ease. He might only be 6-2, but uses his incredible leaping ability to throw down dunks in traffic and could be a SportsCenter top 10 plays of the night caliber dunker when given the chance, a la Buckeye junior forward and high riser Sam Thompson. A little on the thin side, Williams will only get stronger and add muscle to his nearly 180 pound frame working with Ohio State strength and conditioning coach, Dave Richardson, who has done wonders with many former and current Buckeyes.
Here are some high school highlights of Williams from his senior season:
Kam doesn't just dunk on the competition. Even mascots aren't safe, as Brutus Buckeye recently found out:
Williams is currently sitting out of practice with mono and will be out for two or three more weeks. With this being the case, he could find himself battling for key minutes early with guard being such a deep position for the Buckeyes. One thing that will work in Kam's favor when he returns to action is the fact he can play either guard position, which could help out if Aaron Craft, Shannon Scott or Lenzelle Smith Jr. get in foul trouble or need rest heading down the stretch. Kam could and should also be a player off the bench who comes in a knocks down threes or finds other opportunities to get the crowd on their feet, like Amedeo Della Valle did at times last year during his freshman season.
Thad Matta doesn't usually bring too many players off the bench, but a scoring threat like Williams will be hard to keep off the floor. Of course, there will be a learning curve going from the prep to college ranks, but Williams displays a high level basketball IQ, and I don't believe he will have a problem grasping what is expected out of him at this level.
He shakes off the "kissing disease"and becomes a scoring threat or almost secret weapon off Matta's bench. A high energy player who scores in bunches, Williams could come in the game for a just a few minutes and make some key shots similar to what LaQuinton Ross and Della Valle did down the stretch last season for the Bucks and set himself up to potentially be a starter as a sophomore.
With him sitting out practice for the next few weeks, the worst case scenario for Williams is getting buried on the depth chart and getting lost in the mix behind the other players on the roster then having to work his way back in the staff's plans. As we mentioned, Matta doesn't usually bring to many players off the bench, but even with the mono, when he is back, I see it being hard to keep him off the floor after he gets in game shape.