BYU basketball: Rudy Williams hopes to make it to the NCAA Championship

Although he will not play in BYU When the program joins the Big 12 in 2023-24transport guard Rudy WilliamsHe will help his teammates prepare for what’s ahead as they join the toughest basketball conference in the country.

Before spending last season at Coastal Carolina, Williams played on the Big 12 in Kansas State. He knows all about the Big 12.

It will be a transitional year for Coach Mark Pope and cougars. Williams, who has one year of eligibility left, is looking forward to his role in helping Brigham Young University jump into the Big 12.

“They made me better. They didn’t try to turn me into a player I wasn’t. They threw the ball for me and let me go.” Rudy Williams in his first year with Coastal Carolina

“A good season will be a huge confidence booster for the players who are coming back, heading into the Big 12,” Williams said. “With my experience playing in the Big 12, I can go ahead and say it is probably the best conference in the country. If we have a good year, I am sure all the players will be motivated to do more and achieve more success. Being good will definitely help them do That and they would be better.”

For Williams, this would mark his final season in college basketball. He has a number of goals he wants to achieve.

“I want to get as best as I can and prepare for the professional level. I want to do something unique. I want to put up a banner,” he said. “I want to win something – a conference championship or be in an NCAA tournament.” I haven’t played March Madness yet and that’s definitely my goal. You can’t do that without winning. I want to be as good a player as I can be, be the best version of myself and see how much I can develop.”

‘open late’

At 6 feet 2 tall, Williams is a resident of Hamilton, Ontario. While he was playing well in high school, he had a hard time gaining the attention of college recruits in the United States.

“Coming from Canada, I’d say I’ve been a bit late when it comes to basketball,” Williams said. “In high school, I didn’t get recruited much. There are a lot of D-IIs and college prep. My goal was to play Division I—a big stage.”

Williams signed with Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, where he spent two seasons. He was awarded the NJCAA Second Team All-America and Region II honor of the year after leading the country in assists. He finished with 24 doubles and six triples.

“Choosing to go the junior college route gave me extra time to prove that I was good enough to play on that stage and at that level,” he said. “A young college, I spent two good years there. We won many ball games and I improved and developed as a player and as a person as well.”

After junior college, Williams continued his career in Kansas State. He was drafted into King Saud University during the pandemic, so he didn’t get the experience of traditional enlistment visits.

“My year in Kansas was very educational. I learned a lot,” he said. “It was a great experience. I played against the best. He prepared me to do what I did this year and then also prepared me to do what I will do in the future.”

With the Wildcats, Williams appeared in 27 games, and four starts. He averaged 4.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. He placed fifth on the team on 3 throws, posting at least 3 pointers in 11 games, including the fourth season in a win over Milwaukee.

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Rudy Williams of Kansas State (5) and Antonio Gordon (11) react from the bench during a game against Iowa State, Tuesday, December 15, 2020, in Ames, Iowa. Williams will play his final year in college basketball in Provo next season for the BYU Cougars.

Charlie Nybergal, The Associated Press

Williams entered the transfer window and ended up at Coastal Carolina, scoring 14.7 points and 3.2 assists last season. He shot 44.7% from the 3-point range and 74.5% from the free throw line. Williams finished ninth in the Sunbelt by scoring.

“My year at Coastal has been amazing. I was really grateful for the opportunity the coaching staff gave me here. I chose Coastal Carolina when I was on the transfer window last year because of past relationships with the coaching staff. They’ve been recruiting me since I was in high school and in College Prep.” “I had relationships with guys. I knew some guys here. I became a better person and a better player.

“I was able to showcase my talents. We won a lot of games. I felt I was able to do what I did because the coaching staff gave me the opportunity and the platform to be me. They made me better. They didn’t try to turn me into a player I wasn’t. They threw the ball for me and let me go.” .

‘We have aligned goals’

After the season ended, Williams decided to enter the transfer window again and explore his options.

It was a frantic process, Williams said, and while it wasn’t his first time at the transfer gate, it was a bit stressful at times.

“About five to 10 minutes after I walked into the gate, my phone started going off. I got text messages, and schools are shocking me on Twitter,” he said. “You do your best to clear out all the fog and all the smoke and the fake stuff and focus on the real schools and the real schools you can see yourself going to.

“It was nice to be wanted by a lot of big programmes, great coaches. It was fun. It gave me a little bit of reassurance that what I did didn’t go unnoticed. It was so cool. It was more positive than negative.”

Williams received attention from several schools and eventually scaled back his options to San Diego State, UConn, Cal, Butler, Wichita State, Xavier, George Mason, and BYU.

How much did he know about BYU in the early stages?

“Last year when I was moving from Kansas, BYU reached out to me – (Former BYU Assistant) Coach (Chris) Burgess. So I knew little about BYU. I knew they had good players. learned about Gideon George Because we were in the same middle school class,” he said. “I learned Alex Barcelo And the Tejon Lucas. I played against Te’Jon when I was in Kansas. I knew a little history, and Gamer Fredt era. I knew they had a team that went to the championship during the COVID year. I knew a little about Coach Bob and his history.”

In the end Williams chose BYU.

“It was a combination of opportunity, theater and relationship that built over time, and the technical apparatus,” he said. “They were real to me during the hiring process… They had a good plan for me and we had aligned goals. That’s why I ended up choosing BYU.”

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Kansas State guard Rudy Williams drives toward the basket in front of Iowa State forward Gavan Johnson, Tuesday, December 15, 2020, in Ames, Iowa. Williams will play his final year in college basketball for University of British Columbia coach Mark Pope in Provo.

Charlie Nybergal, The Associated Press

Of course, the Cougars lost their leading marksman, and one of the best shooters in the nation at Barcelo. Williams hopes to provide some of the things BYU would miss without Barcello.

“I feel like I can kind of fill in the void he would leave behind. I’ve seen a lot of BYU movies and there are a lot of similarities in our games. He was probably one of the best shooters in the country.” I saw a lot of the things he was doing and thought I could do the same.

“I am sure I will be a captain from day one. I am a likable guy and easy to play with. I feel there are some things he has done this year that I will be able to do next season.”

Specifically, Williams brings to the program a lot of skills.

“I am able to create a lot of things from rebounds. I put pressure on defences. I am able to make my own shots,” he said. “I am also able to create shots for my teammates, and have the big players who dunk at me and pass the ball because I am always in a position attack. Defensively, I play really hard. I will give everything I have. I feel like I’m going to pioneer basketball at BYU because I’ve been in college for a while. I’ll bring up the toughness, too.”

Senior leadership is another thing that matters to Williams as he works to build relationships with his future teammates.

“I spoke to a few guys. I build bonds before I get there. Relationships are a big deal when it comes to basketball,” he said. “The more I like a man, the easier it is to play with him. I have done a decent job so far communicating with men.”

family ties

Williams is one of seven children and is the third oldest. Four of the seven siblings play basketball, and the youngest, at 14, will be the fifth.

“We come from a beautiful sporting background. Football, soccer, rugby, basketball. Everyone is very competitive in our house,” he said. “Without my family, I’m probably not the person I am today. They all taught me what it takes to be successful. To be a hardworking and dedicated worker and make sacrifices to get what you want. I own my family a lot.”

His mother is obsessed with basketball.

“I called my mom that day, on Saturday,” Williams said. “You might as well be the ESPN analyst the way you talk about the NBA playoffs. We’re a basketball heavyweight in our house.”

Older brother Williams went with him on a recruiting visit to Provo. Their first trip was to Utah.

“He was stunned by Utah and Provo,” Williams said. “He was talking about buying an apartment in the city, moving during the season and attending the matches. My family will definitely go on trips to Provo.”

What were Williams’ impressions of Utah?

“I thought it was going to be so cold and snowy. Think about mountains and Utah jazz. When we got out of the airport, it was beautiful. The mountains pushed me away,” he said. “The whole trip, I’d take my phone out the window trying to take a video of the mountains. It was very clean. My brother and I told jokes. It looks like a movie scene. It was really cool.”

Meet Cosmo

Over the years, Williams has admired the BYU mascot, Cosmo, his weird moves, dances and stunts on social media.

When he was on a recruiting visit to campus, the coaching staff asked Williams if there was anything he needed. At first, he was hesitant to ask Cosmo to be present when he had his picture taken. But he wanted to meet Cosmo. The coaches said it could be arranged.

When Williams arrived for his photo shoot, Cosmo was already there waiting for him.

“I was really grateful for that,” Williams said. “There were two pictures where he was flipping behind me. It was great to finally see that in person.”

Williams is also looking to play at the Marriott Center.

“They say it’s crazy. They say about 15,000 fans go to the games. It will be the first time for me because I haven’t played in front of so many people. It would be good to have them by my side,” he said. (ROC) is the number of free throws the opposing team has lost over the course of the year. Fans on Twitter say I’d love to play there. They say really loud. It must be pretty exciting when I make the number 3 to hear the crowd make some noise for it. I’m excited about it.”

In his final season of college basketball, Williams is eager to win a championship, play in the NCAA Championship — and help the program prepare for a big leap in the Big 12.

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Rudy Williams of Kansas State dribbles during the game against Texas Tech, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, in Lubbock, Texas. Williams moved to BYU in the off-season and is eager to make his mark in Provo.

Brad Tolfson, news agency