Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Hoops: More on Deron Williams

It's well documented the twists that resulted in Jarrett Jack coming to the Jackets and Deron Williams going to the Illini...... Here's mention:

Why does he value the concept when other kids don't? Seems his mother, Denise Smith, taught him the art after her career as a small-college player at West Liberty State. Even in his earliest games as a kid, when he was the best player on the court, she encouraged him to pass. He carried that mentality into his prep career in Texas, where he set up shooting guard Bracey Wright for points and stardom. Wright was the national hotshot who signed with Indiana. Williams was rejected by North Carolina, which prioritized Raymond Felton; Kansas, which preferred Aaron Miles; and Georgia Tech, which opted for Jarrett Jack.

Well, guess who could have the last laugh in St. Louis? Wright has been something of a washout at Indiana. Kansas bombed out in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Georgia Tech in the second round. North Carolina is still alive, but ask hoops people who they'd prefer at the point: the skittish Felton or the defense, vision, strength and explosiveness of Williams? And that includes NBA scouts who might not be totally ready to agree with Wisconsin-Milwaukee coach Bruce Pearl -- ''He reminds me of Jason Kidd,'' he said -- but are ready to make him a lottery pick. ''That's who I pattern my game after, Jason Kidd,'' Williams said.

No offense, but you conveniently forgot to mention that Jack led the Jackets to the National Championship game last season. Of course that wouldn't be good for your story, would it?

Now, this guy does his homework and gets it right:

Deron Williams, who made all the right moves for Illinois in its Saturday night thriller against Arizona, was almost a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket.

After North Carolina told the star Texas guard four years ago that it would only take him if Raymond Felton didn't come, Williams said Georgia Tech rose to the top of his recruiting list.

But a day before he was set to take a recruiting visit to Atlanta, the Jackets got a commitment from another point guard --- Jarrett Jack.

It's worked out all right for both programs --- Jack led Tech to the 2004 national title game; Williams, the first player to lead the Big Ten in assists his first three years in school, has Illinois in its first Final Four since 1989.