ESPN four-star shooting guard Donovan Williams made his top six schools known in an Instagram post Monday. He will focus on Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and Villanova.
Williams felt that these six schools each presented him with a unique opportunity and none are the same.
Villanova has sent five players to the NBA since 2018 and head coach Jay Wright has one two of the last four National Championships.
Their ability to develop and send guys to the NBA is attractive to Williams. Also equally attractive is the situation he could walk into.
Instead of playing right away, Williams would likely redshirt at Villanova. He believes it could help him and he would, “use the year to learn from their top guys and get my knee 110-percent healthy.”
The situation makes so much sense for Williams and he’s a huge fan of the head man as well.
“Coach [Jay] Wright sends guys to the NBA every year,” he said. “The chances of you developing into a good NBA player is high, and I definitely feel like I can be a pro there in a few years.”
Oklahoma State offers him a different opportunity coming in as a freshman. The Cowboys, along with their top-10 recruiting class that features the No. 1 overall player in 2020, Cade Cunningham, could shock a lot of people right away with Williams on board.
He believes that Cunningham and himself could play alongside each other to create one of the best freshmen duos in college basketball.
His trip to Stillwater would be, “two years at most,” because the plan would be to go one-and-done, and head coach Mike Boynton would make it all worth it.
“I love coach Boynton. He’s probably the coolest coach I’ve met…probably ever,” he said. “He’s a player’s coach and I really like that he’s an African American coach.”
Texas is a college that provides him with both the basketball and academics outlook. Even without basketball he can enjoy Austin, Texas and everything that comes with it.
On the floor, he trust coach Shaka Smart to develop him into a professional on and off the floor, and that’s why the Longhorns are in his top six.
“Austin is a place where you go to enjoy life and grow. Not just as a player but as a man,” he said. “I also really love coach [Shaka] Smart. We have a great relationship. We talk about every other day, and if not, I’m talking to one of his assistants every day.”
K-State, the moment Williams decommitted, was all over the 6-4 guard. Head coach Bruce Weber would coach a game, turn around and drive three hours to see Williams, and then come back to coach his team.
K-State has been stood out as the program that seems to want Williams the most and that’s why the Wildcats are on his final list.
“I’m trying to go there, break records, and be loved in that area for the rest of my life,” he said of K-State. “That’s one of those schools and that’s why I really like them because they show the most love out of any school in terms of sending letters, messaging, calling me, and they came out to my games the most.”
A year after winning the Big 12, the Wildcats finished last and could certainly use his talents in Manhattan, Kansas. With their incoming recruiting class, he could come in and produce right away and be that all-time great that he wants to be.
Texas A&M is attractive due to their head coach Buzz Williams. After coming over from Virginia Tech, coach Williams is hoping to land a guard that he believes he can push towards his goals.
“I’ve been coached by hard coaches all my life and if you go there, he’s going to take you from a boy, to a man, and a man to a pro,” he said. “If you look at his resume, he sent players to the NBA almost every year as a coach. He sent three last year when he was at Virginia Tech and two were first rounders.”
“And that’s the main thing I’m looking for….’who can develop guys into pros?'”
Kansas is also a very unique situation for Williams. As he said, “Kansas is Kansas,” and it’s hard to pass up an opportunity to play for Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks.
They’re in his top six simply because Kansas is Kansas.
“They are definitely hard to pass up on when the opportunity is there. He develops pro’s, period,” Williams said. “I’ve rarely seen a guard go there, and do their time there, and not end up being a pro. It’s very unlikely because that’s just the type of coach he is…they win the big 12 championship almost every year. Who wouldn’t want to play there?”
Kansas is a waiting game for Williams, however. But they are an intriguing option because, “I feel like I can definitely go there and be a pro,” he said of Kansas.
Despite narrowing down, Williams’ recruitment is far from over. His original plan was to commit in mid-April. Now, he’s hoping he can start taking those visits in mid-April, then taking a couple in early-May and then committing in mid-May.
That’s obviously going to depend on what happens with the recruiting period and if recruits will be allowed to visit colleges in the next few weeks or so. The coronavirus has not only put his recruitment on hold, but put his commitment in limbo.
“It’s going to be spontaneous because there’s still a lot of big decisions to be made. It’s not just school being cancelled….it’s also eligibility. They might try to give that back,” Williams explained. “They might cancel recruiting for the rest of the summer, they might cancel AAU, and they might cancel recruiting on campus until the end of May.”
“So I might have to make a decision without taking any visits….KU and Villanova might be schools that I commit to without taking a visit.”