Nevada added a local forward on Monday as junior college product Sam Williams pledged to the Wolf Pack, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.
The 6-foot-8, 208-pound Williams played at nearby Hug High School before going to Mt. San Jacinto College for two seasons. In his second season at Mt. San Jacinto, Williams was conference player of the year after averaging 25.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Williams shot 54.1 percent from the floor and 41.6 percent from 3-point range for the season.
Originally committed to Cal State Fullerton, things didn’t work out with that commitment, so Williams opened things up and searched for options. In a report from Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal, Williams will enroll in classes in December and spend this season redshirting.
After the redshirt year, Williams will have two years of eligibility remaining and essentially becomes a 2016 commitment for head coach Eric Musselman. During the redshirt year, Williams can acclimate to the Division I level and also add strength before he likely plays on the wing for the Wolf Pack.
One of the top junior college prospects in the Class of 2016 has narrowed down his list of colleges to five schools. Connors State College (Oklahoma) power forward Arlando Cook announced via Twitter that he’s now considering Nevada, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Missouri and Memphis.
As a freshman Cook averaged 11.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, shooting better than 57 percent from the field. Of the five schools remaining on Cook’s list four will lose at least one power forward from its roster at the end of the 2015-16 season. In theory that would open the door to quality minutes from the start for Cook.
Nevada will lose its best front court player in senior A.J. West, as well as reserve center Lucas Stirvins, but they did receive a verbal commitment from high school senior Kenneth Wooten earlier this summer. Oklahoma State will lose two seniors in Chris Olivier and Anthony Allen, and they didn’t bring in an interior player in their 2015 recruiting class either.
Missouri, which received a verbal commitment from high school power forward/center Mitchell Smith on Saturday, loses Ryan Rosburg at the end of the upcoming campaign. Memphis not only lost Austin Nichols (transferred to Virginia) this summer, but they also have to account for the eventual departure of senior Shaq Goodwin as well.
Arkansas is the lone exception to this, but their lack of depth due in part to 2015 commit Ted Kapita not qualifying academically means that the Razorbacks need to land some interior help in the 2016 class.
Nevada earned its first commitment under new head coach Eric Musselman as 6-foot-8 forward Kenneth Wooten pledged to the Wolf Pack early this week.
A native of California, Wooten ran with Dream Vision on the grassroots circuit and he’s a tremendous athlete who can cover multiple positions on the floor. Wooten has only been playing basketball for a few years, so he’s a bit raw as a prospect right now, but he has the athletic traits to be a difference maker if he continues to improve.
Wooten selected Nevada over offers from programs like Fresno State, George Washington, Georgia Tech and Kansas State. This is a nice start to Musselman’s first full class at Nevada and Wooten has the type of upside that makes him an intriguing long-term prospect.