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Two-time All-America East guard Austin Williams visiting Rutgers



Mar 19, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Hartford Hawks guard Austin Williams (20) and Baylor Bears forward Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (23) go for the ball during the first half in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at L. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports

Two time All-America East selection Austin Williams is on an official visit to Rutgers men’s basketball, the Scarlet Faithful confirmed on Thursday. It was first reported by The Knight Report. He is a grad transfer with one year of eligibility remaining.

The 6’4″, 200 pound guard appears to be a good fit on paper for what Rutgers needs on next season’s roster. He is a bigger guard with experience who can create off the dribble and is effective in playing through contact. Williams is a good rebounding guard who is unselfish and shares the basketball. While he’s struggled with turnovers at times and isn’t a efficient three-point shooter at 29.0% in 111 games, he’s hit big shots throughout his career.

While Williams missed last season due to an injury after transferring to Florida International in Conference USA, he was a standout player at Hartford for two seasons.

In 2021-2022, Williams was a First Team All-America East selection after averaging 16.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game in 27 contests. He shot 50.0% from the floor including 56.0% from two-point range and 30.8% from three-point range. In the conference, he was 4th in scoring and assists while 5th in shooting percentage. While Williams shot just 61.4% from the foul line, he was very efficient in getting to the charity stripe. He was No. 171 nationally in fouls drawn rate at 5.0 per 40 minutes and had a free throw rate of 42.6%, which was No. 195 nationally. In addition, Williams was No. 216 nationally with a 23.7% assist rate and No. 369 with a 53.7% effective field goal percentage.

Williams led Hartford to its first ever America East title and an NCAA Tournament appearance during the 2020-2021 season. He averaged 21.3 points and 8.3 rebounds during the Hawks four postseason games in the America East Tournament and earned Most Outstanding Player for his 20 point, 8 rebound performance in the championship game. Williams scored a team high 19 points on 7 of 14 shooting as well as 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a blocked shot in a first round loss to Baylor in March Madness. During his junior season, Williams averaged 14.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals on 50.8% shooting from the floor in 24 contests. He was named a Third Team All-America East selection.

Prior to Hartford, Williams played two seasons for Marist in the MAAC. He averaged 5.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists on 49.5% shooting in 60 total games. He had to sit out the 2019-2020 season after transferring to Hartford.

The Roseland, New Jersey native previously starred for Seton Hall Prep in high school where he earned First Team All-Division honors.

More to come on the potential transfer target for Rutgers, whose official visit began on Wednesday.

Here is the current roster breakdown. Three open scholarships remain for the 2023-2024 season.

Frontcourt: Cliff Omoruyi, Mawot Mag, Antwone Woolfolk, Emmanuel Ogbole

Wing: Aundre Hyatt, Gavin Griffiths, Antonio Chol

Backcourt: Noah Fernandes, Derek Simpson, Jamichael Davis

Watch highlights of the 2021-2022 season for Williams below.

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  1. pj43

    June 29, 2023 at 4:47 pm

    While it’s difficult to evaluate off of highlight film against presumably lesser talent, he does have the body and size to compete in the Big Ten. If Pikiell thinks he’s a fit then I hope it happens. It’ll be a Jersey guy replacing a departing Jersey guy. Still thinking PM ends up at ND although Xavier could be a nice fit for him as well.

  2. BataliBoli98

    June 29, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    To me this will make sense IF there is another wing shooter that will also join the roster. RU can definitely use a guard who can rebound and matchup with other guards with size. So, that makes sense. However, RU really needs another guy who can shoot 3s at a high percentage. One thing to note is that his reported offers are not too exciting (low to mid majors) and he is coming off a knee injury that was bad enough to keep him out for the season. All that said, I trust Pikiell and hope that Williams joins. Go RU!

  3. RUinChiTown

    June 29, 2023 at 7:50 pm

    Will he come here for just ~10 minutes a game?

    Yes, I’m concerned about the competition level he faced previously (remember Peter Kiss!).

    He only shoots 30% from behind the arc.

    If he was hurt last year, why does he have only a single year left? And, did he already use his “Covid year?

    • Biochemist01

      June 30, 2023 at 9:47 pm

      He already played 4 years, had a sit out transfer year and a medical year, and has his COVID year still to play.

      Williams is a good depth piece and would probably start with Fernandes, with Simpson and Davis coming off the bench.

      Oh, and do you remember guys like Akwasi Yeboah or Cam Spencer?

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