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.
Troy Williams Says It’s ’50-50′ He’ll Package With Cat
WASHINGTON — Troy Williams says there’s a decent chance he will package with his best friend Anthony “Cat” Barber at either Louisville or Alabama beginning next season.
“Us going to the same college, there’s like a 50/50 chance that we might go,” the 6-foot-6 Williams told SNY.tv after putting up 14 points and 4 rebounds as USA East beat Lithuania, 93-91, Sunday in the fifth-place game of the Nike Global Challenge at the D.C. Armory.
As reported in this earlier story, Barber is also considering Kansas, and if he picks the Jayhawks, the package deal would be off.
“I mean basically for me, it depends on if I don’t go to Kansas,” said Barber, a 6-2 point guard who, like Williams, is from Hampton, Va. “If I go to Kansas, there’s a possibility that it won’t happen. But if I don’t, then I think it’s like a high, high chance of me and Troy going to the same school.”
Williams was initially going to decide between Kentucky and North Carolina in May, but postponed his decision and is now also mulling Louisville, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgetown and Arkansas, as first reported by SNY.tv.
He said his mindset has been much freer — and his play more inspired — since deciding to hold off.
“Oh, yeah, definitely I’m freer now,” Williams said. “I’m not worried about it. I’m working to my strengths. Weaknesses, I work on that in practice. During gametimes, I’m just playing, having fun out there.”
Other than Canadian sensation Andrew Wiggins and possibly James Young of Troy, Mich., Williams was the most impressive player at the Nike event.
He averaged 19.8 points and 4.3 rebounds and was named to the U.S. All-Tournament Team.
Williams also posterized several defenders with dunks, including the one above in which he drove the baseline and slammed with two hands on a poor Chinese defender.
Asked for his favorite, he said, “Definitely the one on the Chinese person.”
Williams and USA East lost to Wiggins and Canada, 101-96 in OT, in arguably the best game of the tournament on SAturday, and then fell to Brazil later that day.
“It was very depressing,” Williams said of the Canada game. “We should’ve won that one, too. You win some, you lose some.”
Williams went off for 26 points and 6 rebounds against Brazil, but his team lost that one in OT, 96-91.
“We tried to come back against Brazil,” Williams said. “We started off good and then we didn’t finish it.”
Still, Williams’ play impressed the coaches and scouts on hand.
“With Wiggins, probably arguably the second-best athlete here,” one NBA scout said. “Great up-and-down. Reminds me of Shawn Marion. Great athlete, great in transition. Needs to work on his shooting. Good individual defender. Great at attacking the rim, tremendous athlete.’
If Williams ends up going to college with Barber, one of the top point guards at the event, they could do some damage going forward.
“We grew up together,” Williams said, “so just going to the same college we could both bring good mindsets to the school, high energy, exciting plays and more.”
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.