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Troy Williams: The Legacy of Boo Williams Continues

In Southeastern Virginia, an area rich in American history, there is one family woven deep into its basketball fabric. Boo Williams, the AAU impresario of the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, was a player at local Phoebus High School before taking his talents up to Philadelphia’s St. Joseph’s University. His sister, Terri, followed his path and enjoyed her own success at Penn St., before moving into the coaching ranks, where she is now the head coach for Georgetown’s women’s team. Their nephew, Troy Williams, is trying to make his own mark on the court, while being guided by his relatives. [private]

After playing in a reserved role as a freshman, 6’7″ Troy Williams decided to embrace his family’s legacy and began wearing his uncle’s number five uniform at Phoebus High School. This past season, the sophomore led the 21-8 Phantoms in scoring and to the Eastern Regional Group AAA final of Virginia, where he scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, before falling, 51-45, in the closing minutes to Norcom, which finished as USA Today’s sixth best high school basketball team in America. The improved play that the hyper-athletic wing demonstrated during the high school season has transferred to the courts during AAU play, where the rising junior has led his uncle’s Boo Williams 17U squad, which once again features several high-major players, in scoring during Nike’s EYBL season.

Blessed with a reported forty-inch vertical, the 2013 prospect routinely attacks the offensive glass, which has helped mitigate (47% FG%) some of his outside shooting issues (23% 3pt shooting over Nike’s fifteen game EYBL season). In his second season with the Boo 17s, he’s demonstrated more comfort in his own skin and playing with other quality players like scoring point guard Anthony Barber and Justin Anderson, with whom he’s formed the most athletic pair of wings on the AAU circuit. After finishing 9-6 in EYBL play, Boo Williams qualified to play at the Peach Jam in a few weeks. Recently, Duke coach Jeff Capel, who previously coached at Virginia Commonwealth in Richmond, spoke with the amiable Troy Williams and expressed Duke’s desire to observe him play with Boo Williams at the upcoming Peach Jam in Augusta, GA.

Before and after his conversation with Coach Capel, Troy Williams spoke with Blue Devil Nation.

What’s your current size?

I’m 6’7″ and 190.

Which position do you view yourself as, a three or a two?

Anywhere I’m needed. I feel I can be whatever position they need me to be. I usually play the two, three, and four on this team. I’m normally outside, but, if they need an extra post player, I’ll just stay inside. 2000 plus word interview ahead for members -[/private]

What do you feel is your natural position? Where do you feel most comfortable?

Probably as a small forward.

Let’s start with a basic recruiting question. Which schools have expressed interest in you?

Georgetown, Alabama, Texas, UNC, Southern Florida, UVA…did I say Virginia Tech?

No, not yet.

Oh, okay, Virginia Tech

Are all of those offers?

All of them are offers, except for UNC. They’ve just shown interest.

Do you have a timeframe in mind for when you’d like to decide by?

Yeah, I’d like to decide next year, between the middle of my junior and senior year. I guess that’s not too soon.

I’m not sure if the audience knows this, but your aunt is the head coach for Georgetown’s women’s team. Does that help give Georgetown a leg up in your recruitment and how has she influenced your game, if at all?

It doesn’t really affect me. Some people think because my aunt goes there that I’m going to go to Georgetown. It doesn’t really affect me at all.

Well, what kind of guidance does she give you?

She’s always speaking with me about my grades and stuff. She also helps me on the court too. Whatever I need, she’s there. Whenever I need help with classes or something, she helps me out. On the court, she’s been very helpful too.

Obviously, another major influence in your life is your uncle, Boo Williams. What’s it been like having him as your uncle? That’s got to help a little bit.

(laughs) It’s like any other uncle, I guess, except he’s got some benefits or whatever. He’s got benefits.

That’s a one way of putting it.

(laughs) Yeah, I mean he helps me out a lot too.

What’s your relationship like him? Are you guys very close?

Well, most of the time it’s just business, you know, AAU and travel. I’m mostly in charge of scoring with the ball and crashing the boards. He comes around at night and talks about ideas and stuff.

Do you guys live pretty close?

Yeah, we live about ten to twelve minutes away.

What advice has he given you on the court and also in terms of your college decision off of the court?

Well, with my decision, he said to go where I feel comfortable at; where I’ll fit in at.

In terms of on the court, what advice does he normally give you?

Just play. Just play and have fun.

For the audience that may not have seen you play, What are your strengths and weaknesses?

My weakness is definitely my strength.

You said you weighed about 190. How big would you like to get? You’ve gotta get those pipes a little bigger.

(Laughs) I know. I know. I wanna get up to like 200. Wanna get more weight on my arm so I can take some hits.

And what are your strengths? What are your best features?

My strength is definitely hitting the offensive glass. Offensive rebounding definitely.. I’m able to get it and get the put back.

What about your defense? You had that shot block in the game where you nearly hit your head on the rim. You came out of nowhere.

(Laughs) Oh, that one. I don’t know how I did it. I don’t know how I did it. It just happened. I kind of timed it and it worked.

Hopefully, somebody filmed it. What are some goals for you this summer? What are some things that you like to work on?

Definitely defense. I want to work on all of my defense, but especially my on the ball defense. I also wanna work on my help side defense. That I need to pick up on.

Do you feel its more of an effort thing or a technique issue for you?

Definitely technique. Yeah, technique.

Do you hoping to show college coaches this summer?

My athleticism. I always hear about that a lot. I’m going to try to show them that and impress them this summer.

Do you know what your vertical is right now? Roughly..

It’s about forty. Yeah, forty.

Wow, I think I’ve played with some guys that had a four-inch vertical. That’s impressive.

(Laughs)

What’s it like playing alongside Justin Anderson this summer?

He’s a real good player. He tips the ball a lot. If we’ve got a fast break and he’s on one side and I’m on the other…

That’s a nightmare for the defense.

( Laughs) Yeah, exactly. We already know that one of us is gonna put it in the basket. If the defense comes at him, he’s gonna pass the ball and the same for me.

Have you guys improved your chemistry?

Yeah, we kinda know where the other one likes it and try to help the other one out.

What kind of style of play do you prefer?

Fast break. 100 percent fast break (Laughs)

What player do you try to model of your game after? I heard you like Kevin Durant a lot.

Yeah, Kevin Durant is my guy. He’s like my favorite player.

Who’s the toughest player you’ve ever had to defend?

Kyle Anderson. Definitely Kyle Anderson.

What are your goals for the next high school season?

Getting my team to the state championship. We got close this year. So, hopefully, next year we can get there and win it.

Do you guys bring back a lot of talent?

Well, we lost like six seniors, but our sophomores actually got a lot done too ..like I was the leading scorer and our second leading scorer was a sophomore and our point guard was too.

Who will you turn to for guidance, whenever you do decide?

Definitely, my uncle. My uncle and aunt.

What’s your range? How far out do you feel comfortable shooting the ball?

Probably NBA range.

You feel that you’ve got pretty good range. Do you have a go to move?

My step back. Absolutely, my step back.

Have you visited any colleges recently? Do you have any visits planned?

I’ve visited Virginia Tech, but that was back a little.

Are you going to visit any schools this summer?

Probably eleventh grade year. Coming up next year, yeah.

Have you heard from any college coaches recently?

Yeah, DePaul called the other day.

Was it Coach Purnell?

I don’t really know who it was. I’m sorry.

That’s fine. Will distance be a factor for you? There’s been some talk that it may be difficult to get you out of that area.

Oh, no, if I feel comfortable in Texas, I’ll go to Texas or California. I’ll go wherever I feel comfortable.

There’s a big world out there.

Yeah, it is.

What would you like the audience to know about you away from the court?

Most of the time, when I’m at home and not doing nothing, I’m at the streetball court. I’m usually playing over there.

Do you get full-time access to your uncle’s courts?

Yeah, if nothing’s happening…he’ll call if he’s got a free day and I’ve got a free day. I end up going over there and we workout.

They kept switching you, but what position do you prefer to defend?

Whoever they need me to defend..it usually depends on match-ups, but mostly small forwards.

What do you think opposing coaches tell their players about you in their scouting reports?

Definitely, you’ve got to box me out, especially on the offensive end. Whenever I shoot the ball, you’ve got to put a man on me and, with this team, Justin Anderson too because we will hit the offensive glass. You need to box the two of us out because we’re definitely going to the offensive boards for the tip or the put back.

Nationally, who are some guys that readers might be surprised that you’re friends with or met, either through AAU ball or the various camps?

Well, through my uncle, I’ve met Alonzo Mourning. I met him.

That’s a big one.

I met Coach Riley.

Coach Pat Riley?

Yeah, yeah, I met him. I also met, well, I can’t really say that met him, but I talked to over the phone … Phil Knight.

That’s a really big one.

(Laughs)

By the way, have you spoken with Allen Iverson? I know that he’s from right around your area.

I remember this, but I don’t know if he remembers this. One time, when I was little, I went to a football game and his little cousin was playing and I shook hands with him, but I don’t know if he even remembers me. He probably doesn’t even remember me.

Oh, that’s alright. He’ll want to remember you in the future. What’s your schedule like the rest of the summer?

I’ve got the LeBron and then the Peach Jam, which, hopefully, we’ll win. After the Peach Jam, we go to the Nike Nationals in Florida.

Since the June 15th date have any schools from the ACC called you?

When they were allowed to call on the first day, Coach Capel of Duke.

What kinds of things did you guys speak about?

What Duke was like and stuff. That’s really all we talked about, how Duke was like, and what tournaments and stuff I was going to be in this July.

Is he the only coach from the staff you have spoken with?

Yes.

Will they be watching you this summer?

Yeah, he said him and Coach K will be watching me at the Peach Jam.

What do you know about Duke as a program?

Well, it’s really highly educated. Academics are high. Then, also basketball is really known too. It’s a good overall school, peaceful campus and all.

What was your impression of Coach Capel? What was his approach like?

He approached me basically as a coach. He’s a real cool guy, he knows how us young people think. [/private]

Nike EYBL Session I – Sulaimon, Parker and young prospects shine

Tony Parker - BDN Photo

Day One is in the books at the Nike EYBL Session I, otherwise known as the Boo Williams Invitational.  There were several Duke targets playing Friday evening, including the nation’s top rated big man Tony Parker.  We’ll have plenty of video coming your way as we go into next week, although just about every Duke site imaginable was on the same players at the same time this evening, meaning a lot of the same stuff.

Parker showed off his newly chiseled body where he has lost some of his body fat from last season.  He ran the court well for his Georgia Stars as they walked through their opponent. 

Parker played sparingly and that was an effort to [private] save his legs for the rest of the session and foul trouble.  Parker spoke highly of Coach Krzyzewski and said he talked with him often.  He mentioned that UNC had offered but he has yet to talk with Roy Williams.

It was clear that Duke is a big player for his services but this one could go on for a bit.  Parker said he’d sit down with his parents and advisers before making a decision and mentioned that he would visit Duke and UNC in the coming months.  I feel much better about the Blue Devils chances with Parker after the interview.

Rasheed Sulaimon told BDN he’d been working on his game and that he was quicker on and off ball.  Sulaimon scored 12 points in the first half but was scoreless in the second as his team cruised to an easy victory.  We’ll have more on Sulaimon a bit later, including videos, interviews and the like. Sulaimon has a sweet stroke and runs around the court like a water bug.  He is confident in his abilities and the way he spoke to media gives me the impression he is up for any challenges.  He said he loved playing with LJ Rose, a kid Duke once recruited.  Rose point blank told me, he still loves Duke and wishes they’d recruit him.  Not one Duke site payed any mind to him but now that I just mentioned this tidbit concerning his interest, watch his name magically appear elsewhere, wink, wink.  Still, Duke seems set with Quinn Cook, so it’d be a long shot for them to offer at this time.  Rose has a long list of suitors.

BDN talked with Theo Pinson as well, a kid who moved from D-One Sports to CP-3 this season.  He is but 15 years old and playing with the big boys and he can already hold his own.  He is fleet afoot and we’ll have more on his game with an exclusive interview before the weekend is out.  We already have tape of him from the gang of Duke sites rushing to speak with him.  I have a ton of background on this sure fire prospect.

A lot of Duke fans have heard the name Brandon Ashley tossed about but trust me in that he is a long, long shot.  He mentioned UNC when I was questioning him, glowing and the IC guys swooped in.  I also talked with Oakland Soldiers teammate Aaron Gordon who had a monster game with some big time highlights.  He has a ton of potential and said he has not heard from Duke or ACC schools.  He has not list other than PAC-10 schools.

Anthony Bennett of CIA Bounce 17 played well tonight.  He loves to get into the lane and mix it up and has the ability to become a beast.  Bennett is of course Canadian and during the interview I felt he was unfamiliar with college hoops and asked him about that and he admitted he didn’t really keep up with it growing up, not knowing much of the traditional powers.  His list was long and growing and he is at the beginning of the process. He spoke of being free in a more open system than that his high school team plays.  He seemed a bit surprised at the attention but liked it.

I spoke to Julius Randle as well and he loves to float outside despite his height.  He went up against the aircraft carrier known as Sim Bhullar, listed at 7-5 and over 300 pounds. [/private]

Austin Rivers helps lead team to an upset win over Team Takeover

Austin Rivers leads team to win at Nike EYBL
Austin Rivers scored 15 points and helped lead his Each One Teach One team to an upet victory of the Michael Gilchrist led Team Takeover in Friday action at the Nike EYBL Session I event in Hampton, Virginia. Memembers of BDN Premium can check out not one but two interviews with the star.

HAMPTON – BDN is in Hampton, Virginia to cover the Nike EYBL Session I, formerly known as the Boo Williams Invitational, this weekend where the nation’s top prospects have gathered to kick off the grass roots season.

There has already been an upset on day one where Each One Teach One, led by Austin Rivers, defeated powerful Team Final, which features Michael Gilchrist and Rakeem Christmas.

Each One Teach One got off to a good start despite Rivers starting the game 2 for 10 from the field.  Rivers ended the game with 15 points and his play helped lead his team to the 76-64 upset victory.

Rivers was swarmed by the media after the game where mainly UNC sites were asking the questions.  BDN has that whole interview for you as well as another one when the rest of the media was not around.  Those interviews will appear shortly for members of Blue Devil Nation Premium.

We talked to prospect Tyler Adams as well along with Justin Anderson on day one of the event.  We’ll be reporting from the camp this weekend and it is loaded with talent.

In the nightcap, future Duke star Michael Gbinije went 6 of 10 from the field and 5 of 5 from the free throw stripe for a total of 17 points to go with 2 rebounds and 3 steals.  His team won easily and you will also hear from him in the coming days.

So, it’s a great time to join Blue Devil Nation Premium where you’ll get full site access and the skinny on the real Duke prospects.

Andre Dawkins leads Boo Williams into the semi finals with a three point barrage

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Future Duke player Andre Dawkins was on fire from the three point stripe hitting 8 of 12 and tallying 30 plus points in Boo Williams easy victory over the Georgia Stars.  The AAU nationals are winding down and Boo Williams has been playing together making a late season run for the title after a disappointing summer.  BDN will continue to update you on the action as the event winds down.  Our interviews from Las Vegas and Orlando began today with an in depth talk with Kyrie Irving.  If you want the absolute, hands down best coverage of Duke basketball recruiting then join BDN Premium today.  Our members are discusssing the latest happenings on the message board and we are just scratching the surface with our on site reports.

Southern Invitational tournament updates

a-dawkins-iiThe Southern Invitational AAU Basketball tournament was held this past weekend at the Boo Williams Complex in Hampton, Virginia, with Mark Watson on site covering the event for Blue Devil Nation.

Semi-finals action saw all three 2010 Duke commits in action against each other as Boo Williams, featuring Andre Dawkins, defeated DC Assault, featuring Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton, 63-54.

Dawkins led Boo Williams by scoring 26 points with 23 coming during the second half.  In the first half, Tyler Thornton played shutdown defense on Dawkins limiting him to three points.  Foul trouble caught up with Thornton so he was unable to keep up the defensive pressure.  Highly touted 2011 prospect James McAdoo scored 16 points for Boo Williams.

Josh Hairston was limited to three points in the contest.  Hear  all the details from Mark in this audio update over at Roundballrecruiting.com.

In the Championship Game, CP3 made a statement via a dominating 93-70 victory over Boo Williams.  This is a game everyone expected to be close but it was anything but close.  CP3 was led by UNC bound Reggie Bullock, Wake Forest bound Melvin Tabb, 2011 player PJ Hairston, and a relatively unknown point guard named Chapman.  Hear all the details here.

News from the earlier action is here and here.  Be sure and check back as Blue Devil Nation will be providing much additional coverage of the Southern Invitational over the next several days.

Andre Dawkins stock is rising – BDNP’s second interview with the future Dukie

Andre Dawkins surveys the court during the Boo Williams Invitational - BDN Photo
Andre Dawkins surveys the court during the Boo Williams Invitational - BDN Photo

I’ve now seen Andre Dawkins play in twelve games and the Duke commitment has made huge strides from being the six man on last seasons Boo Williams team.  It was clear to me on a trip to Richmond earlier this season that Dawkins had improved greatly since the summer.  Maybe it was there all along, but the thing that caught my eye was his athleticism.  In the first five games I had scouted Dawkins, he was primarily a long rang threat, capable of scoring points in bunches.  Now, Dawkins is showing off his athleticism by coming all the way across court to block shots or throwing down emphatic dunks.  Dawkins struggled in Boo Williams opening game, but erupted the rest of the way scoring over 2o points in five straight games.  I was all set to write the headline, “The Andre Dawkins Show,” in the semi final game but a miraculous finish by Michael Gilchrist and Team Final spoiled the day and knocked Boo Williams out of the championship game.  Despite that, heads were turning with Dawkins play this weekend and the majority of the sites will raise his ranking or add another star to his name.  It was easy to see this coming for me after his play during the high school season, but Dawkins has put the rest of the nation on notice that he wants to be known as an upper tier star in the class of 2010.  Dawkins was named to the all tournament squad.  This is the second of three chats I had with Dawkins over the weekend.  The first interview can be found on the Blue Devil Nation Premium message board.  Please keep in mind that we do not have a public forum, so registering will only get you in if you are a subscriber.

Have you heard from the Duke coaches of late?

They just want me to concentrate on my AAU season and be myself and go out thee and play hard every night.

You struggled with your shot a bit in the first game, do you just keep shooting until your shot starts to fall again?

Yeah, just trying to get out of the slump from my first game.  I knew that wasn’t going to last too long.   You can’t rely on the last game.  You have to get your mind set.

Are you going to work on Harrison Barnes this weekend?

Oh [private] yeah, that’s my job, I’ve got to go find him.

Kendall Marshall will be on him as well …

Yeah we are both going to be on him all weekend so …

Barnes doesn’t tip his hand much does he?

Naw, he is cool.

Is your Dad here this weekend and if so what has he been saying to you of late?

Last night he just told me to forget about that game and move on to the next one.  That’s what you have to do.  You can’t go around worrying about the last shot in the last game.

[UNC verbal Kendall Marshall walks by smiling at Dawkins]

He’s wearing that national championship shirt today.

[Travis McKie nods to me as he walks up and then off]

What about McKie?  Are you trying to get him to Duke? [asked somewhat tongue in cheek since McKie is not being recruited by the Blue Devils]

I’m trying but Travis isn’t trying to go there.  He’s not feeling them.

What about your teammate McAdoo?  Some are saying he is a UNC lock and that Flordia trails him as well …

Naw, I don’t think he’s a UNC lock but he’s definitely a great player.

You are obviously used a bit differently with Boo Williams than your high school team.  Can you address that?

You have a lot more duties with your high school team.  That’s the way it is with all of these guys.  I mean it’s the best guys from every high school.

Does Boo try to assign you to certain areas on the court?

I don’t think he wants to label me or anything like that.  He wants me to do more.

What is it like being a leader on this seasons Boo Williams team?

It’s a little bit different.  I was kind of backseat last year, but I’m kind of used to it being a leader on my high school team, but it’s a little bit different having this much talent on a high school team.

Okay, I have to ask this.  When I was on Richmond, you made a thunder dunk and then went up to Duke Assistant Coch Nate James and let him know about it.  What was going through your mind then?

I don’t know, I guess I was excited, just bring it and all.  It was a good play – it was a nice pass from Steve [Pledger], so I was just having fun. [/private]