Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
After contemplating his top two choices over the weekend, Jordan Williams decided on Maryland over St. John’s on Sunday and committed to head coach Gary Williams Monday night.
“I spoke with him about 10 minutes ago,” the 6-foot-10, 245-pound Williams, a senior forward at Torrington (Conn.) High, said Monday by phone. “My decision was based mainly on the academics. I want to major in criminal justice and Maryland has the top criminal justice program in the country. If something were to happen where I would get hurt and couldn’t play basketball, then I would have something to fall back on.”
Williams shut down trips to UMass and Providence after narrowing it down to Maryland and St. John’s and also had interest from Arizona, Cal, Siena and Marquette. He joins 6-8 Brooklyn Lincoln forward James Padgett in providing Maryland with a pair of skilled and strong post players. Maryland has no more scholarships to give for ’09, unless someone were to go pro or leave the program for other reasons.
“St. John’s, I love the coaching staff,” Williams said. “They’re great people. I liked them a lot. It was a really tough decision but I felt that Maryland would be the best place.”
Williams could be an impact player within a year or two. He averaged 28 points, 15 rebounds, 7 blocks and 3 assists last season. He has scored more than 1,000 career points despite missing half of his freshman year, and he is within 250 or so points of the school record set by his uncle, Murray Williams.
“He’s going to be a four,” Torrington head coach Tony Turina said. “He’s 6-10, he’s a power man. He finishes better than many big men. He’s got great great hands and he can run the floor well. Once he commits to the weight room in college, I think he can be a much better college player than he is in high school because he’s going to be pushed every day in practice and every game.
“Whenever he played against top schools and top players in Connecticut, he came away dominating the game. His upside is tremendous.”
“I will probably be a four or a five,” Williams added. “My post play is going to come in at first, but I want to work on my outside game, shooting more 3s and slashing a little bit more.
“They’re projecting me to come in and play next year,” he added. “(Coach Williams) said they’re excited and they have a spot for me. I’m excited to come in and take that spot.”
Syracuse also picked up a commitment from 2010 prospect C.J. Fair, a 6-7, 200-pound power forward from Baltimore (MD) City College High. Also at Syracuse, Antonio “Scoop” Jardine will redshirt this season because of a stress fracture in his left leg.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.