AUGUSTA, SC — University of Louisville basketball coach Kenny Payne was among several Class of 2023 prospects shortly after taking office in March.
And then there are some new targets.
One such target Payne has jumped on recently is Bloomfield Hills, Michigan four-star Brother Rice wing Curtis Williams, who played well for The Family this week at the Nike Peach Jam at the North Augusta Riverview Athletics Center.
The 6-foot-6, 205-pound Williams scored in double figures in four of The Family’s five games, including both games with Payne and his assistant Josh Jamieson during the live judging period that began Wednesday. Williams had 13 points and three rebounds on Wednesday, then on Thursday he finished with 12 points, six rebounds, three steals and an assist in a narrow loss to Meanstreets.
“I just want to do what I can to help the team,” Williams said. “I feel like I can do a bit of everything to help my team win.”
It’s the versatility and his ability to fill the stat sheet that has colleges looking his way.
Williams has more than a dozen offers, including Louisville since the Cardinals extended an offer on July 11. Payne watched Williams several times at the EYBL event, while assistant Josh Jamieson also saw him several times, and the day after the event was when the cardinals proposed.
“I built a good relationship with Coach Payne,” Williams said. “We talk a lot, I would say every day. I really like what he has to say and I like the program.
“He wants me to go there soon for a visit.”
Williams had narrowed his roster to Alabama, Florida State, Notre Dame, Seton Hall, Tennessee State and Xavier. But the level of interest has increased this summer and it’s likely to add even more offers after Peach Jam. He also has offers from Maryland, VCU and Notre Dame.
In the 247Sports rankings, Williams ranks 55th among players in the nation, 9th small forward in the nation and 1st in Michigan. He is listed as the No. 64 player in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
247 sports analyst Jeff Rabjohns called Williams one of the “eye-catchers” at NY2LA Swish N Dish in early April:
He said Williams “mmade multiple 3s on the rebound, also hit an elbow jumper on the rebound in his opener on Friday. I continued to shoot throughout the weekend. Already has strength in its frame. Used his shoulders very well on drives, both to clear space and create contact. He made three 3s in the first half of Sunday’s semi-final game, finishing with four 3s, including a four-point play when he was fouled on a pull-up dribble 3 near the top of the key. Does he sometimes have funky side spins on his three-point shots. »
In 13 games this season on the EYBL Tour before Peach Jam for The Family, Williams averaged 12.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game.