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Friday / January 19.
  • Williams to Memphis

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    Memphis coach Josh Pastner finally landed a big fish.

    Latavious Williams, a 6-foot-8 combo forward out of Humble (TX) Christian Life Center who averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds, committed to the Tigers Tuesday, choosing them over Georgetown, Oklahoma, Kansas State and Florida International.

    “I went home this weekend and made [the decision Monday],” Williams said by phone. “I have a real good relationship with Coach Pastner.”

    Williams lives in Starkville, Miss., just two hours from Memphis, and cited that as a deciding factor as well.

    “I decided it was better for my family to come to the games,” he said. “My family is back home in Mississippi.”

    Williams said he believes he will qualify academically.

    “I made a 17 on my ACT and I need a 2.5 GPA. Coach Carlos said I’m good,” he said.

    Carlos Wilson, Williams’ coach at Humble Christian, concurred.

    “He got his ACT scores back and now we’re just waiting on his GPA to see if the ACT and the GPA match up,” Wilson said. “But I believe he’s going to make it.”

    Because the NCAA late signing deadline passed on May 20, Williams did not sign a National Letter of Intent, but instead signed scholarship papers that bind the school to him but not vice versa.

    Pastner has watched point guards  Eric Bledsoe and John Wall both choose Kentucky over Memphis; DeMarcus Cousins bail on an oral commitment to Memphis in favor of Kentucky; and Darnell Dodson depart to play for John Calipari’s new team as well.

    Now Memphis has a five-star wing to build around for the future. Wilson said Williams can play multiple positions at the next level and could have a major impact.

    “I see Latavious right now as the Shawn Marion type of guy,  the Stacey Augmon type,” Wilson said. “He can put up big man’s rebounding numbers but he’s an ultra-athletic slasher from the wing spots. And he can also shoot it. He’’s a very versatile basketball player. The thing that makes him special in my eyes is that it doesn’t matter to him.

    “If it takes him playing the four spot to win the game, he’ll play the four. If you need his length out on the perimeter, he’ll do it. If you need for him to guard the center, he’ll do it and won’t complain.

    “He’s just your classic basketball player.”

    Memphis could also land 6-7 wing Noel Johnson, who just got his release from Southern Cal, and is still in the mix for Brooklyn Lincoln wing Lance Stephenson as well, and Williams would like Lance to join him in Conference USA.

    “He needs to go to Memphis,” Williams said of the 6-foot-5 Stephenson, the all-time leading scorer in New York State history.

    Stephenson is still involved in a sexual assault case in Brooklyn that was adjourned until June 29. He may wait until after the case is resolved to pick a school.

    Arizona, Memphis and Maryland are in the mix.

    “Latavious wants to win a national championship and a Conference USA title and you need good players to do that,” Wilson said. “I’m sure if he and Lance have a chance to conversate about it, Latavious would try and recruit Lance.”

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    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.

    • I thought it is against NCAA rules for a player to help in the recruiting process. Now that he is committed to Memphis, he is a player, right?

      • fyi – he made this comment long before he committed. this quote was from several weeks back. check the back stories on him on this blog.

      • Next up for Memphis late Sumer is for Lance adn Noel to both commit to the hottest rising star in coaching, Josh Pastner…

    • Not quite. He’s not a student at Memphis. Right now all he’s done is give a non-binding verbal commitment. He still has to get fully qualified, admitted and enrolled in classes. Then he can’t make “public” comments about an unsigned recruit.

      Players on the team help recruit kids all the time when they come to the school on official and unofficial visits. And by staying in contact with recruits. But they can’t make public comments about an unsigned recruit.

      Hope that helps.

      • Thanks for the reply Diamondback, but I’m not certain that I agree with your interpretation of the rules. What is your source? Here is how Clarkson University interpets the rules. I know other colleges have a similar interpretation (theirs just popped up on google so it was easy to fetch).

        You might be right about him not being a player yet, but I don’t think you have the “public comment” part right.

        • Not a diss cosmkdbree but I don’t have time to read Clarson Universities compliance brochure. I wish I did I’m sure I’d learn something. My source is an assistant coach at the Division I level. Though it is possible my memory is fuzzy. But I read all the time about kids that commit to a school and then mention in interviews that they hope so-in-so comes to that school because it would be cool to play on the same team together. And I’ve never seen any sanctions come from it.

          Alot of schools have their own policies that are stricter than the NCAA’s so that if a player/coach/booster steps over the university’s line, they’ll hopefully still be within the NCAA’s line.

          But my understanding is that coaches, nor current players or former players should make public comments about unsigned recruits by name. I actually heard a Div 1 coach say that in a radio interview when asked about a recruit.

    • AZ,

      Looks like the NEWS is out.

      Famous is not going to USF.
      He is demanded his LOI release.
      Yes, USF fired/let go some assistant coaches.
      Why? You don’t want to ask!

      Famous release….means Arizona is in the MIX.
      Famous visit Arizona…his last visit.

      WIth Famous going to Arizona.

      Then, you have USC Timmie thing.
      Noel J. was RELEASED.
      The things are falling at USC.

      So, MoMo will also get RELEASED.

      MoMo to Arizona….

      The Arizona Wildcat recruiting CLASS will be a TOP 5.

      Kevin P.

      and MoMo/Lance/Noel J.

      What will LANCE DO?
      Lance will have to decide soon.
      Much different situation than Kansas-Henry.

      • Why didn’t Heath….disclose the firing and departure of the assistant coaches.

        TWO have left.

        There are major RED FLAGS in USF.
        Remember, I told you about the REF FLAGS in USC.
        Something is REALLY WRONG at USF.

        “The week before Famous committed, USF assistant Byron Samuels, who was involved in the recruiting of Famous, was fired by Heath. A few days later, USF assistant Dan Hipsher left for Alabama. Famous was not notified about either coaching change by Heath, Carey said.”

        • AZ,

          Why did the USF coach wait until after May20…..and Famous is still waiting.
          Very shaddy business in USF.

          “Last week, he got really fed up. It got to the point … Heath says I’m going to come see him on this day and then he says he can’t make it. After a while that gets old. I think the situation at USF doesn’t look good.

          “I was concerned when you have half your staff leave in a week. Now a month and a half later and there’s still uncertainty who will be on staff. Plus Heath only has two years left [on his contract].

          “Since Jarrid signed, he hasn’t seen Coach Heath, Coach Heath hasn’t called him. He doesn’t know anything about the coaching staff. He didn’t feel comfortable with the situation anymore.

          It seems to be very unstable.”

          • AZ,

            We found out that Heath was NOT truthful in his meeting with Famous…the day he received Famous’s verbal…


            “Remember when Famous completed his visit at the UofA.

            Famous arrived in NYC on Sunday.

            And had a meeting with Heath on Sunday.

            So, WHY didn’t Heath reveal that the assistant coach was FIRED.
            Or at least provide an indication that coaching changes were coming.

            The FACT is Heath did NOT provide any information on the assist coach being FIRED or no longer on the STAFF.”


    • What a great pickup for Pastner and Memphis coming out of the gates with a 5 star recruit for his first recruit on his own. This is an extremely get not just for next years team but as a building block for next years recruiting class. If Memphis could somehow pick up Lance or another good point guard they will have a very talented team next year but not real deep. Nice job Pastner

      • And finally something comes out. I’m surprised it took this long. A Memphis player who only played in 2007 – 2008 cheated on his SAT’s. Jeez, Derrick Rose? Boy, how did I figure that out? It makes total sense that Pastner became the new coach. He was a Calipari lackey. Gotta keep that tradition of cheating in house to get anyone to go to that dump of a city (ya I know, bbq and Elvis, it’s an awful place). I love it, major violations….let’s see if Williams tries to rip up his LOI. Dream on if you think you’re getting Lance.

        Calipari is taking the tradition to Kentucky. Half of those five star dumb sh*ts won’t even qualify. Hell, Latavious might not even qualify. Laughing all the while….Scumbags always get caught. No wonder Calipari sprinted to Kentucky. John Calipari and his ZERO NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS getting off scott free while Memphis goes down. If you wanted a legitimate, clean program, you would have went outside the family. Has anyone seen Dana Kirk? LMAO…Memphis, TN…my GOD!!!

    • there are no loi’s after the signing date …..Williams will sign his scholarship papers and attend summer school to clean up his transcripts …as I understand it he has passed the ACT and now needs the grades to match up ….. I’d say its a done deal …he seems focused on school now .

    • Now I understand why Calipari left Memphis for Kentucky. He knew that the SAT scandal would come to light. He ran to hide in the blue grass knowing he would be safe there. Isn’t this the same scandal that ended Eddie Sutton at Kentucky??? I knew it was more then just the dribble offense that was so attractive to all those one and done recruits. And what kills me even more is how all these Memphis and Kentucky fans get on this site bragging about their schools great playes and rich history. All i see are shady practices and kids being exploit to maintain that so called “rich tradition”. Remember, what you do in the dark will always come to light. This is a sad state of affairs!