I was going about my early Saturday morning routine when I had a Twitter reply from 2017 power forward Kwintin Williams, who wanted me to call him.
Rather than call, I DM’ed Kwintin and let him know that because of my present situation, I was considered a booster and should not be having contact with him (I didn’t want Kwintin to think I was ignoring him either). Kwintin messaged back that there hasn’t been much written about him without direct contact, so he was brand new to this situation. That thought had never occurred to me, but here we are. I explained to Kwintin that what I did write wasn’t an intent to disparage him. I saw it as research more than anything else and as I mentioned in that article, we’ve all done dumb things when we were 18 years old.
Williams wanted to make it absolutely clear that he’s as clean as the day is long. No record of anything other than just playing a lot of basketball and lots and lots of dunks. That’s important to Williams and it’s also important to Texas Tech.
I asked Kwintin how he got to Pima C.C., in Arizona, from Alaska and Williams essentially played for two prep schools before being offered by Pima C.C. where he had to get his grades in order, which is why last year was his first year at Pima C.C.
Williams’ biggest concern? Not getting in trouble with the coaches who are recruiting him. I respect the hell out of that. Not many people are willing to work through two prep schools and then go grind at a JUCO to have a chance at a Division I school. If anything, it’s great reminder that these players that sometimes end up at these JUCO colleges are maybe more appreciative than the players who are recruited straight out of high school. Not all of the time. We saw two examples of that, Justin Jamison, for whatever reason, never took advantage of his opportunity, while Devaugntah Williams played hard, won some games, was even benched and never complained, all the way while helping lead Texas Tech to its first NCAA appearance since 2007. And if it’s any indication as to the type of player that Tubby Smith recruits and what he wants in players, players that do it the right way, via LAJ’s Krista Pirtle:
“The real heroes are our young people that will carry the legacy of what we’re trying to teach them as far as being men of character and being responsible for their families and for themselves,” Smith said.
That’s why some of the biggest compliments he’s received in his time at Texas Tech have come from people pointing out their gratitude toward his players who always stop to sign autographs and take pictures with fans.
Smith teaches his players that it doesn’t cost a thing to be polite, show good manners and represent themselves and Texas Tech the right way.
That’s been his message throughout his career — doing things the right way.
“No shortcuts,” Williamson said. “That’s the reason why we were successful at Tulsa. That was the reason why this team was successful at Texas Tech. You have to work and put time into it.”
If I had to guess, I’d think that Coach Joe Esposito has told Williams this very thing. That to be with Tubby is a commitment for life, but the player has to pull his weight too. I don’t know about you, but the idea of a guy who doesn’t want to disappoint is a good thing.
I did confirm that Williams is a 2017 player, which means he’s got one more year to go. As for Williams, I don’t know what he’s got in store for his sophomore season and he’s just starting to receive some additional interest from some Pac-12 programs in addition to Texas Tech. Texas Tech will certainly be in need of a big body next year as Aaron Ross will have graduated and there will certainly be an empty frontcourt spot for a big man. If his freshman stats are any indication, he’s going to be recruited all over the place: 18 PPG; 55% FG; 53% FT; 8.3 RPG.