Amir Williams commits to Ohio State
The best remaining post player, ESPNU 100 C Amir Williams, has signed with Ohio State and coach Thad Matta. The 6-foot-10, 220-pounder from Birmingham, Mich., also considered Purdue, DePaul and Michigan before narrowing his choices to the Buckeyes and Gators.
"I felt very comfortable with coach Matta, his coaching staff and the players. They were like a family," said Williams, who is the No. 2 center in the country. "My parents liked everything better than I did. They loved the school, the academic support and the basketball program."
The Buckeyes are getting a very athletic and mobile post player in Williams who fits the Buckeyes' system and has the potential to be an immediate impact player. Williams runs the floor extremely well and finishes above the rim with a clear path or from drop-off passes created by dribble penetration. He rebounds on both ends, can make open shots to about 15 feet and can face and drive to the basket from short distances, which will be perfect in Ohio State's spread offensive attack that includes multiple set plays with a variety of ball screens and great spacing. Williams also makes his presence felt on the defensive end because he can guard both post positions with the ability to block shots in and out of his area. He will be terrific in the Buckeyes' full- and half-court pressure with his ability to protect the rim and apply ball pressure to opposing post players. Williams has off-the-charts potential and upside, but must add strength to his frame and be more consistent to take his game to the next level.
"Coach Matta told me they needed an athletic center that can play right away because of the graduation of power forward/center Dallas Lauderdale and the possibility of Jared Sullinger being one and done," said Williams.
He joins three other ESPNU 100 players in the Buckeyes' 2011 class which has added great perimeter size, starting with point guard Shannon Scott (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton) and a pair of 6-7 wings in Sam Thompson (Chicago/Whitney Young) and LaQuinton Ross (Jackson, Miss./Life Center Academy). Plus, 6-9 center Trey McDonald (Battle Creek, Mich./Battle Creek Central) will provide the Buckeyes with a different type of center. McDonald is more of a power player, while Williams is very explosive around the rim. Matta and his staff have done a great job of convincing two post players from what Buckeyes fans refer to as the "state up north" to come to Columbus.
Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986 to 1990 and was an All-MAC first-teamer in his senior season. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.