Kendall Williams

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Kendall Williams
No. 10 – New Mexico Lobos
Position Shooting guard / Point guard
League Mountain West Conference
Personal information
Born (1991-07-03) July 3, 1991 (age 22)
Upland, California
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Listed weight 180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High school Los Osos
(Rancho Cucamonga, California)
College New Mexico (2010–2014)
Career highlights and awards

Kendall Williams (born July 3, 1991) is an American college basketball player for the New Mexico Lobos men's basketball team. Born in Rancho Cucamonga, California, Williams has been the starting shooting guard for the Lobos during his three years in Albuquerque, garnering attention for his high level of play and success. He has earned a postseason accolade from the Mountain West each year he has played, and is 30th member in program history to have scored more than 1,000 career points.

High school[edit]

Williams attended Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga, California, as a three-year starter while being a first team all-state and two-time all-CIF selection for the Grizzlies.[1] During his senior year at Los Osos, Williams averaged 22.4 points per game, 4.8 assists per game and 2.9 steals per game to go along with 7.8 rebounds per game[2] including 40 points in a 73-75 loss against Upland High School when he was 14 of 26 from the floor and 11 of 13 from the line.[1] Williams was also a scrappy rebounder, posting double-digit boards ten times, including 13 in a game against Vista Murrieta and another contest versus Arcadia. He also was a prolific pick-pocketer, nabbing four or more steals ten times.[1] Williams was a spectacular student at Los Osos, maintaining a 3.7 cumulative GPA for his high school career.

College[edit]

UCLA[edit]

While still a tenth grader at Los Osos HS, Williams verbally committed to the University of California, Los Angeles to play in 2010.[3] While there was some skepticism concerning Williams early decision to attend UCLA, The Los Angeles Times reported that "[t]hose close to Williams say they are confident that his commitment will work out for both" Williams and UCLA.[4] However, after UCLA pulled his scholarship in late July 2009 because of concerns of coach Ben Howland over Williams' on court behavior while Howland was in attendance.[5][6]

New Mexico[edit]

Freshman Year, 2010-2011[edit]

After decommitting from UCLA in June 2009, Williams quickly found a home in New Mexico[7] in March 2010, and blossomed into a reliable player for Steve Alford's Lobos squad. Williams scored a career-high 20 points in a 91-54 decision against Longwood University and posted his first collegiate double-double against Colorado, putting up 18 points and 11 assists in a 89-76 win. Williams also jockeyed for scoring leader for the Lobos, and consistently dished out the second most assists on the team (behind Dairese Gary). In addition, Williams both maintained one of the top six assist-to-turnover ratios (2.15 assists to turnovers) in the Mountain West Conference, and led the conference in three-point shooting percentage, both incredible feats for a true freshman. On March 7, 2011, Williams was selected as the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year after averaging 10.1 points per game and 3.7 assists per game.[8] In his first collegiate postseason game, Williams led the Lobos in scoring with a 16-point performance against Colorado State in a 67-61 victory.

Games Played Games Started Minutes/Game Points/Game Rebounds/Game Assists/Game Ast/TO Ratio Field Goal Percentage 3pt. Field Goal Percentage Free Throw Percentage
35 34 30.5 11.6 3.0 4.0 1.99 45.7% 42.6% 71.8%

Sophomore Year, 2011-2012[edit]

Prior to the start of the 2011-2012 college basketball season, Williams was ranked the tenth best mid-major point guard in the nation[9] and the seventeenth best point guard overall in the nation.[10] Williams was also noted to be one of twenty breakout players by Ballin' is a Habit.[11] He was also picked as a Wooden Award preseason watch list snub,[12] and substantiated that argument by being selected to the 2011-12 Mountain West Preseason All-Conference Team.[13][14] During the middle of non-conference play, Williams was named one of 65 candidates for the Bob Cousy Award, which recognizes the nation's best point guard.[15]

Despite not having the same prolific start as during his freshman year,[16] Williams improved upon a number of his freshman stats during his second year, including points, assists, and rebounds. Williams recorded double-digits points in 18 of the Lobos' regular-season contests, including a season-high of 21 points in wins against North Dakota and at then-No. 15 San Diego State. Another notable regular-season performance included 16 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in a 76-71 win at Arizona State. In the postseason, Williams continued to contribute as he scored 12.2 points per game and dished out 4.4 assists per game during the MW Tournament and NCAA Tournament. In the MW Championship game vs. San Diego State, a 68-59 Lobo victory, Williams tallied 14 points and six assists. In New Mexico's opening-round win vs. Long Beach State in the NCAA Tournament, Williams upped his output, scoring 16 points, including a three-pointer that gave New Mexico the lead for good with under five minutes to go.

To cap off his strong sophomore campaign, Williams was named Second Team All-Mountain West [17] and First Team All-District 17 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.[18]

Games Played Games Started Minutes/Game Points/Game Rebounds/Game Assists/Game Ast/TO Ratio Field Goal Percentage 3pt. Field Goal Percentage Free Throw Percentage
34 32 29.8 12.1 3.3 4.2 1.91 44.4% 35.5% 78.0%

Junior Year, 2012-2013[edit]

Bolstered by his strong showing his sophomore year, Williams opened the 2012-13 season with a handful of preseason accolades. Williams was chosen to the Preseason All-Mountain West team for the Lobos, both by the Mountain West[19] and by College Sports Madness.[20] Williams also highlighted CollegeBasketballTalk's top 15 backcourts of 2012-13 season, which checked in at No. 12 as a group.[21]

Williams started his third year with five-straight games scoring in double figures, including a then-career high total of 23 points in a victory over Illinois-Chicago at the Paradise Jam. Also at the Paradise Jam, Williams showcased some late heroics versus George Mason, where he sank a three-point basket from 33 feet with 11.9 seconds to bring New Mexico to within two points and then stole the ensuing inbounds pass that eventually led to Tony Snell’s game-winning 3 with 1.8 seconds remaining. Williams was selected as the MVP of the Paradise Jam Tournament[22] after averaging 17.3 points over the three contests. Williams bettered his career high in points twice more during the non-conference portion of the Lobos' schedule, as he scored 24 points in wins at Indiana State and New Mexico State. During a December contest vs. South Dakota State, Williams became the 30th player in program history to score 1,000 career points after chipping in 21. He closed out non-conference play scoring in double figures all but three times, and was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame final watch list for the 2013 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award right as conference season started.[23] Through the first 11 games of MW play, Williams maintained a relatively low profile, scoring more than 12 points just twice. He did post an 11-point, 7-assist and 6-rebound performance versus Air Force, but statistically speaking, Williams' opening of conference play saw him average 10.5 points per game and shoot 36 percent from the floor and 28 percent from beyond the arc, all below his career marks.

46 Points[edit]

Despite Williams' uncharacteristic output to start conference play, all was forgotten when he scored 46 points vs. No. 22 Colorado State on Feb. 23, 2013. Williams accounted for more than half of the Lobos' 91 points, and shot 12-of-16 from the floor, 10-of-13 from beyond the arc and converted 12-of-17 free throws. He also added five rebounds and four assists in 33 minutes, which made his point-per-minute average 1.4. His 10 three-pointers were a New Mexico and Mountain West record, and his 46 points tied for the third-highest scoring total in school history and fifth-best in conference history. He also set the school record in most points scored in a road game, and broke the Moby Arena scoring record of 44 points set by Portland State's Freeman Williams on Nov. 29, 1975.[24]

Williams earned considerable attention for his exploits at Moby Arena (which snapped Colorado State's 27-game home winning streak[24]), including his first Mountain West Player of the Week honor.[25] Also among his accolades was earning the Capital One Cup Impact Performance Of the Week[26] and player of the week honors from ESPN's Dick Vitale,[27] NBCSports' Rob Dauster[28] and a handful of other media outlets like CBS Sports and FOX.[29] Williams was also added[30] to Jason King's Wooden Award watchlist on ESPN after his performance.

After his showing at Colorado State (which bumped in season scoring average from 13.1 points to 14.4), Williams closed out the regular season in the same fashion in which he started, tallying double figures in his last two games. In a close loss at Air Force, he recorded his second career double-double, scoring 21 points and dishing out 10 assists.

Due most in part to his 46-point game, Williams was accorded the honor of Mountain West Player of the Year, as well as a berth on the conference's First Team.[31] It was fourth time a New Mexico player won the conference player of the year award. He was also selected to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-District VIII team,[32] which includes players from all Division I schools in New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah.

Games Played Games Started Minutes/Game Points/Game Rebounds/Game Assists/Game Ast/TO Ratio Field Goal Percentage 3pt. Field Goal Percentage Free Throw Percentage
30 28 34.4 14.0 3.6 5.0 2.27 41.7% 36.2% 77.5%

Playing Style[edit]

ESPN called Williams "a multifaceted, offensive player" in their January 2010 scouting report,[33] noting his long-range skills (shooting over 45% from beyond the arc) and lane-driving capabilities. ESPN lauded Williams's "ability to handle physical play when finishing in the lane" and was called a "high major prospect" by Scouthoops.com.[34] His defense is characterized as tenacious and has been called by UNM Head Coach Steve Alford one of the fastest players he has ever coached.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Player Bio: Kendall Williams – NEW MEXICO OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE". Golobos.com. 
  2. ^ Kendall Williams Basketball Profile MaxPreps.com
  3. ^ "Bruins Receive Verbal Commit From HS Sophomore" Bruin Basketball Report, November 27, 2007
  4. ^ "Early decisions can have fallout" Los Angeles Times, July 26, 2008
  5. ^ "The moment things started to unravel for Ben Howland at UCLA" SI.com, March 26, 2013
  6. ^ "PG Kendall Williams, UCLA part ways" ESPN.com, July 29, 2009
  7. ^ "Boys' basketball: Kendall Williams picks New Mexico" Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2010
  8. ^ Mountain West Conference Announces 2010-11 Men's Basketball All-Conference Awards TheMWC.com, March 7, 2011
  9. ^ "College Basketball 2011-12: Top 30 Mid-Major Players at Each Position" Bleacher Report, June 22, 2011
  10. ^ "2011-2012 Season Preview: Top 25 Point Guards" Ballin' is a Habit, November 1, 2011
  11. ^ "2011-2012 Season Preview: Breakout Players" Ballin' is a Habit, October 31, 2011
  12. ^ "Players who might end up on Wooden list" ESPN.com, October 3, 2011
  13. ^ "Mountain West Conference Announces 2011-12 Preseason Men's Basketball Selections". The Mountain West Conference Official Athletic Site. October 12, 2011. 
  14. ^ Mark Smith (October 13, 2011). "The Sky’s The Limit". The Albuquerque Journal. 
  15. ^ "Basketball Hall of Fame Announces 2012 Bob Cousy Award Candidates". e Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. December 19, 2011. 
  16. ^ Mark Smith (December 2, 2011). "Williams Stays Confident". The Albuquerque Journal. 
  17. ^ Mountain West Announces 2011-12 Men's Basketball All-Conference Awards TheMWC.com, March 5, 2012
  18. ^ Gordon, Williams Named NABC First Team All-District 17 GoLobos.com, March 14, 2012
  19. ^ Mountain West Announces 2012-13 Preseason Men's Basketball Selections TheMWC.com, October 22, 2012
  20. ^ Madness 2012-2013 Mountain West Preseason All-Conference Teams College Sports Madness, October 17, 2012
  21. ^ CBT's top 15 backcourts of 2012-13 season CollegeBasketballTalk, October 24, 2012
  22. ^ Men’s Tournament History and Statistics Basketball Travelers, Inc.
  23. ^ Williams Named Cousy Watch List Finalist GoLobos.com, January 10, 2013
  24. ^ a b Kendall Williams hits 10 3s, scores 46 points in New Mexico's win Associated Press, February 23, 2013
  25. ^ Mountain West Names Men's Basketball Player of the Week TheMWC.con, February 25, 2013
  26. ^ Capital One Cup Impact Performance Of the Week
  27. ^ Weekly awards for Feb. 25 Dick Vitale, February 25, 2013
  28. ^ Player of the Week: Kendall Williams, New Mexico Rob Dauster, February 25, 2013
  29. ^ Lobos Pick Up USBWA District Honors GoLobos.com, March 12, 2013
  30. ^ Wooden Watch: Jason King's POY ballot Jason King, February 28, 2013
  31. ^ Mountain West Announces 2012-13 Men's Basketball All-Conference Awards TheMWC.com, March 11, 2013
  32. ^ USBWA NAMES 2012-13 MEN'S ALL-DISTRICT TEAMS U.S. Basketball Writers Association, March 12, 2013
  33. ^ Kendall Williams Player Evaluation ESPN.com, January 2010
  34. ^ http://scouthoops.scout.com/a.z?s=75&p=8&c=1&nid=3127004