Class of 2013 small forward Troy Williams and power forward Chris Walker have big decisions to make when they choose which college they’ll attend, but first, they have to decide which Midnight Madness they’ll attend and which programs they will take a closer look at.
“I’m going to Kansas’ Late Night in the Phog,” Walker says, “because my boys are going and I like Kansas!” Walker has nearly every elite program in the country after him and has already visited Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Georgia. Two of those visits were with class of 2013 shooting guard Brannen Greene — Florida and Florida State — and the fact that Greene and class of 2013 point guard Isaiah Lewis plan on attending Kansas’ Midnight Madness did influence Walker’s decision to go to Lawrence in October.
Other schools that Walker is interested in visiting before his November 15 commitment date includes Baylor, Connecticut, Kentucky, Memphis, Ohio State and Texas. Three of those schools — Baylor, Kentucky and Texas — plus Florida and Louisville are the five schools that he has been in contact recently. Says Walker of what they’ve been telling him, “Just the basic stuff… that they’re recruiting me hard and they’re really interested in me.”
However, Kansas State head coach Frank Martin was the only coach to see him in person last week when Martin saw Walker work out Friday. “Coach Frank said that he loved how I play and that I can make a big impact in my first year,” Walker said. “He said he sees me playing the three or four.”
Williams also had some college coaches take a look at him during open gyms in September including DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell, Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg, Virginia Tech assistant coach John Richardson, Georgetown assistant coach Robert Kirby, Louisville assistant coach Kevin Keatts and North Carolina assistant coach Steve Robinson. Williams identified two schools in particular who have been contacting him a lot recently.
“DePaul and Georgetown are the only two schools I’ve talked to recently,” Williams said. “DePaul has just been trying to get me out there for a visit and see the campus in person. With Georgetown, they’ve just been talking about Midnight Madness because that’s where I’m going for Midnight Madness. I’m going to Georgetown’s [Midnight Madness] because my aunt coaches there. I wanted to go last year but they said it would spoil it for this year. I’ll be there in the daytime to visit the school and walk around the campus all day.”
In addition to his Georgetown visit in a couple of weeks, Williams is going to take a closer look at Louisville and Kentucky since he’ll already be in-state. “I got invited to the John Lucas camp in Louisville so I’m going up a day early and I’ll see Louisville’s campus. Then either between the camp or after the camp I’ll go see Kentucky,” he explained.
He also spoke of his goals for the visits. “I want to learn more about the school and learn more about its history, to meet some of the players and see how the academics are and if I can see myself there,” Williams said. “After it, I’ll talk to my uncle about it.”
The only other visits he’s had were to Duke and North Carolina and Williams identified the trip to Chapel Hill as his favorite. Williams said, “At UNC, [class of 2013 point guard] Anthony Barber and I went to dinner together, we played at an open gym with the team, we watched some of the football game and just toured the campus.”
With all these past and upcoming visits, it’s important Williams knows exactly what he’s looking for in a school. “If guys don’t make it into the NBA what do they do after college?” he asks. “What type of job do they have, how do colleges treat their players, do they have a good relationship between the coaches and players and academics are also important.”
A couple of schools in particular fit this mold in Williams’ mind. “Georgetown is one, after college if they don’t make it into the league they get good jobs. They help with the team by working them out and coaching. Also, UNC [is another], I don’t know much about Louisville and Kentucky [though].”
Williams is in the process of figuring out where he’ll take his five official visits and hopes to make a commitment after AAU season next year.