UK Men's Basketball

'Hidden gem' apparently joining UK basketball team

It appears that the University of Kentucky has added freshman guard Donald Williams to its men's basketball team for the 2008-09 season.

The recruiting service reported on Wednesday that Williams had joined the UK team. Analyst Jerry Meyer of said that the player was his source for the report.

When asked if Williams had joined the UK team, one of the player's summer coaches, Scooter Owens, said, "Probably so."

Owens declined further comment.

UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy said the school could neither confirm nor deny that the team had added Williams.

Recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons of the All-Star Sports service called the player a "hidden gem." Williams played in a Memorial Day tournament that Gibbons organizes.

Gibbons said that Williams, a native of the New Orleans area, had academic questions that led many observers to believe he would attend a Christian-based prep school in North Carolina for a year before joining a college team for 2009-10.

Meyer noted that Kentucky got involved once Williams gained his academic eligibility this summer.

"Kentucky's got a great hidden gem," Gibbons said. "He can play shooting guard or wing forward. He can shoot and he's explosive to the basket.

Gibbons projected Williams, a 6-foot-5 guard, as a possible replacement for Joe Crawford and a player likely to compete with Jodie Meeks for playing time.

"He's an impact recruit," Gibbons said.

Williams averaged about 24 points in five games in Gibbons' tournament.

Earlier in the summer, Williams listed Marquette and St. John's as the top two schools on his list.

Meyer described Williams as a player capable of playing anywhere on the perimeter, perhaps even a bit of point guard.

When asked if he thought Williams could be effective at Kentucky's level, Meyer said, "Oh, I think he can play. He'll give them some depth in the backcourt."