After making 26 starts in 34 games at Oklahoma State last season, 6-foot-5 guard/forward Brian Williams made the decision in early April to leave the program. Having graduated from the Big 12 school, Williams would be eligible to play at the Division I school of his choice. Wednesday it was made official by the Louisiana program that Williams will be a Ragin’ Cajun, joining a team that reached the NCAA tournament last season.
Williams posted averages of 6.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game as a junior, shooting 48.8% from the field, 25.0% from three and 72.7% from the foul line. However he played more than 20 minutes in just two of Oklahoma State’s final eight games, including a 13-minute outing in their season-ending loss to Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament.
But his arrival at Louisiana helps from a depth standpoint, with the Ragin’ Cajuns having lost its three leaders, including junior guard Elfrid Payton.
“We’re excited to have Brian enrolled in school and become a member of the Ragin’ Cajuns,” Louisiana head coach Bob Marlin said in the release. “He gives us an athletic wing player with size and has played at a high level for the past three years.
“With the loss of our team captains from last year, Brian will have the chance to step in right away and be a leader of this team.”
In addition to Payton, Louisiana lost seniors Bryant Mbamalu and Eldridge Moore. The leading returnees in 2014-15 will be forward Shawn Long (18.6 ppg, 10.4 rpg) and guard Xavian Rimmer (8.8, 2.3).
Oklahoma State transfer Brian Williams will attend Louisiana-Lafayette for his final season of eligibility, according to multiple reports.
Williams averaged 6.2 points and 3.4 boards for the Cowboys this past season, but left the program at the same time as Marcus Smart and Markel Brown after seeing his playing tie cut down the stretch of the season.
Williams is a redshirt junior and graduated this semester, meaning that he will be able to play immediately for the Ragin’ Cajuns. That’s big news for head coach Bob Marlin. UL is coming off of a trip to the NCAA tournament, and while they return center Shawn Long, who averaged a double-double his first two seasons, they lose Elfrid Payton, who declared for the NBA Draft and could end up being taken in the first round.
Williams isn’t going to be replacing Payton’s production offensively, but he’s a next-level athlete on the wing that will really help on the defensive end of the floor.
Williams is a native of Baton Rouge, La.
With Marcus Smart declaring for the NBA draft and Markel Brown exhausting his eligibility, reserve guard Brian Williams was expected to have a bigger role next season for Oklahoma State.
However, like Smart and Brown, Williams will depart from the program, according to a report from Kelly Hines of the Tulsa World on Thursday night. Williams, a redshirt junior, will graduate at the end of the semester and will have immediate eligibility at whatever school he transfers to.
Williams, who missed part of the 2012-2013 season with a wrist injury, saw a decrease in play time in mid-February. In the last eight games of the season, the 6-foot-5 guard, who averaged 23.3 minutes per game this season, played 20 or more minutes only twice.
He averaged 6.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game for the Cowboys.