Williams quietly leading Ole Miss hoops

Posted on Nov 8 2012 - 3:29am by Lacey Russell

Back in October at Ole Miss basketball Media Day, head coach Andy Kennedy said this year’s squad may be the most experienced team he’s coached in Oxford. The Rebels are led by three seniors in forward Murphy Holloway, forward Reginald Buckner and guard Nick Williams.
While Holloway has gotten attention for his offensive and rebounding abilities and Buckner for his shot-blocking prowess, Williams has quietly put together an impressive career of his own at Ole Miss.
“I think everything starts with Reggie and Murphy,” Williams said. “We try to make their lives as easy as possible. Whatever they need me to do, I’ll do it.”
Heading into his senior season, Williams said he is just ready to get the regular season started.
“I’m super excited,” he said. “This is our (the seniors’) last go-around. (We’re) ready to get out there and play somebody else. These guys have been putting in a lot of work, so I think we’re ready.”
Williams hails from Mobile, Ala., and coming out of high school, he was rated the No. 30 overall prospect and No. 7 shooting guard by ESPN.com/Scouts Inc., and he was named the Alabama High School Player of the Year after his senior season at LeFlore Preparatory Academy.
He began his college career at Indiana, where he started 29 of 31 games, averaging 8.9 points per game, before transferring to Ole Miss after his freshman season. After sitting out a season due to NCAA transfer rules, he played in every game during his sophomore campaign and started 26 of those games, averaging 6.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. 
Last season, Williams’ saw an increased role, starting in 32 of the 34 games while averaging 10.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. He shot 41.1 percent from the field and 32.2 percent from behind the arc.
Williams attributed the uptick in production to conditioning, which is what he worked on the most this offseason.
“I feel like last year I was probably in the best shape of my career, and I know this year I’m probably in better shape,” he said. “I’m just getting in great shape and trying to play as many minutes as I can.”
Williams also hopes those plays at the end of the game can help the Rebels reach their ultimate goal of getting to the NCAA Tournament this season.
During Williams’ time in Oxford, he’s been on teams that have been perennial bubble teams, having finished each season a win or two away from a berth in the NCAA Tournament field.
“We’ve been scratching for the past three years, and it’s finally on us,” Williams said. “It’s now or never. We think about that every day. We come in with the same mindset every day. If we don’t go hard, we won’t make it. We have to go hard.” 
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