Baltimore Sun

St. Frances' R.J. Williams in no rush to pick school

Looks can be deceiving when it comes to R.J. Williams.

At 5 feet 8, 150 pounds, the St. Frances point guard rarely intimidates his opponents physically. But on the court, few players locally have successfully matched up with the Panthers senior. This summer was all about Williams attempting to do the same on a national level with Nike Baltimore Elite.


In the opinion of NBE coach Carlton "Bub" Carrington, Williams more than held his own.

"He's been just the figurehead of the program the last couple of years," Carrington said. "At every age group, the ball has been in his hands. It's been a joy to coach. Again, it's just a situation where he's going to make a head coach look like a genius. Somebody is going to take a chance on him and he's going to win a lot of games."Williams, a Baltimore Sun second-team All-Metro selection as a sophomore, isn't giving much thought to the recruiting process just yet. Williams knows Wagner and St. Francis (Pa.) have expressed interest in him, but he's letting his brother speak to college coaches while he focuses on his game.


"I don't really even pay attention to it," Williams said. "I just play my game. I'm just trying to do well and trying to get better and better every day. It's good to know people talk about me, negative or positive. It helps me play better. It helps me work harder."

Carrington acknowledges that some schools have overlooked Williams because of his height. The NBE coach says that's a mistake, and mid-major coaches who evaluate Williams this season should keep that in mind.

"He's athletic, he's tough, he's strong [and] he's a leader," Carrington said. "Everybody wants to get a 6-2 combo guard, and coaches are telling you they want somebody with a little more size. They have a taller guard [they want], but they can never get that kid. He's 6-4, he's a point guard, and he's not going to a mid-major. I think coaches over-evaluate. The coach that gets in early and understands, 'this kid can fit my program,' I think that coach right there, that [doesn't] overanalyze and takes R.J. for what he is – a leader, a winner, a competitor, a kid that's going to run through walls, a kid that wants to win every drill, every game – that coach is going to win a lot."

Williams has already done his fair share of winning throughout his St. Frances career. He expects the Panthers to be the team to beat this season in the MIAA A Conference and the Baltimore Catholic League. After his senior season, he'll pay a little more attention to recruiting. But in the meantime, Williams is fine with working on proving his doubters wrong.

"It makes me just work harder," Williams said. "I've been trying to get in the gym, lifting weights and trying to get stronger and put more weight on. I've been trying to work on my legs so I get more lift because I'm short. I'm trying to get my leaping ability higher so [college coaches] say, 'Oh, he's short, but he can play above the rim.' That's what I'm trying to do."

Baltimore Sun photo of R.J. Williams by Amy Davis / Feb. 21, 2010