April 30, 2009

Rebels make first move for former Hoosier

Nick Williams is in no hurry to pick his new college home.

The former star guard from Mobile, Ala., just knows that this time, it's imperative that he get it right.

Williams, who committed to Marquette following a stellar career at Mobile's LeFlore High School only to follow coach Tom Crean to Indiana, told RebelSports.net Thursday that he's got a visit to Ole Miss lined up and he plans to make his decision by the time summer school starts at the school of his choosing.

Indiana has granted Williams a full release from his scholarship, IU athletics communications director J.D. Campbell told the (Mobile, Ala.) Press-Register Wednesday. NCAA rules require Williams to sit out one season after transferring to another Division I school, but he can transfer to any school of his choosing. He would then have three years of eligibility remaining.

Ole Miss, Williams told RebelSports.net, was the first school to call after Indiana released him from his scholarship.

"(Ole Miss) Coach (Andy) Kennedy and (assistant) Coach (Torrey) Ward are great people," Williams said. "I know them well and I've been talking to them for awhile and we have a good relationship. They were the first people to call me when my release got out and I appreciated that. Right now, they're really high on my list."

Williams said he'll be leaving Bloomington, Ind., next weekend. The 6-foot-4 guard said he'll visit Ole Miss a few days later. Alabama, South Alabama and Missouri have been in contact as well, Williams said, though he didn't rule out choosing the Rebels shortly after or during his visit to Ole Miss.

"This is a big decision," Williams said. "This is my last stop. It has to be a great situation. I'm going to take this year to go to school and get better individually. Wherever I go, I hope I have a good career and come in and contribute right away."

Williams said he watched Ole Miss a couple of times last season. He is friends with Ole Miss rising sophomore forward Murphy Holloway from the camp circuit as well.

Williams started 29 of 31 games at Indiana as a freshman, ranking fourth on the team in scoring with an average of 8.9 points per game. Williams led the Hoosiers at the free throw line, converting 74 percent of his attempts. He ranked second on the team with 24 steals. Williams also averaged 4.5 rebounds per game. However, Indiana finished 6-25.

"This year was a tough year, with all the losing and stuff," Williams told the Press-Register. "I wasn't really too happy with my role on the team, and I just didn't feel like next year would be better. …It was fun, but it just didn't work out. I felt like this just wasn't the best situation for me and my family."

Ole Miss, which signed four-star forward Reginald Buckner in the early signing period and junior college forward DeAngelo Riley last week, has one scholarship remaining. Scholarships became available earlier this spring when forward Malcolm White transferred to LSU and guard David Huertas elected to bypass his senior season to sign with a professional team in his native Puerto Rico.

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