Shaka Smart has made his first foray into the 2015 recruiting class as he landed Kenny Williams, a talented, 6-foot-2 guard from southern Virginia.
“Extremely blessed and excited to announce that I have committed to play my college basketball at VCU,” Williams tweeted. He’s currently listed as a three-star recruit and the No. 124 player in the class of 2015, but that ranking is expected to go up once it gets updated.
Williams played very well this July, collecting offers from the likes of North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Minnesota and Indiana, but he decided to stay local. The Rams had made him a priority early on in his high school career.
“It just felt like the right thing to do,” Williams told Rivals.com. “The situation couldn’t get any better than VCU.”
Williams is a perfect fit for Smart’s ‘Havoc’ system at VCU. He’s not an elite defender or a next-level athlete, but he’s a good enough defender that he won’t be a liability defensively in a system that prioritizes full court pressure and forcing turnovers. His biggest strength is his ability to shoot the ball from deep, which is something that the Rams lacked last season, but he’s more of a combo-guard than a pure off-guard.
Put that all together and you see why Williams was such an important recruit for the Rams. He’s talented enough to be coveted by the big boys, local enough to have been spotted early by VCU, he’s a very good fit for their system and he fills a need that the team has.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.