College Basketball Nation: Dwain Williams

Dwain Williams is going pro

May, 19, 2010
Hawaii junior guard Dwain Williams will not return to the team and will pursue a professional career, the school announced.

"We’ll miss his scoring ability and are grateful for his contributions to the program," new Hawaii coach Gib Arnold said in a statement. "We’ll help Dwain any way we can and we wish him all the best."

Hawaii's roster is a work in progress under Arnold, but it was always a question whether or not Williams would be welcomed by the new coaching staff, especially after spending a chunk of the season on suspension.

Williams didn't have many options after previously transferring in from Providence. According to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin:
Arnold previously said that he'd take a number of factors into account for any final decision made on Williams and other returning players, including work ethic on and off the basketball court and grades.

Williams is unable to transfer to another Division I program with his remaining eligibility time, so will either have to drop down a level or turn pro to continue playing basketball.

Hawaiian honeymoon is over

February, 22, 2010
Hawaii coach Bob Nash couldn't have liked reading this in Ferd Lewis' Honolulu Advertiser column on Sunday:

If the University of Hawai'i ends up making a men's basketball coaching change -- and it is getting increasingly harder to see how it won't -- then last night's game could have been the exclamation point.

The Rainbow Warriors hit more than an artistic low in the 102-89 non-conference loss to Cal Poly, they did it statistically as well.

With some of the remnants of a crowd of 2,669 perversely counting it down, the 'Bows had an opponent ring up 100 points on them for the first time in the 16-year history of the Stan Sheriff Center.

The BracketBuster game was just another embarrassment for Nash's 9-17 team, which is tied for last in the WAC.

Nash starred at Hawaii and was a longtime assistant there before taking over in 2007, but after receiving a one-year extension this offseason, his team has been rocked by injuries and the suspension of Dwain Williams.

The Warriors have relied on transfers and do have talent. They've lost eight in a row, but Roderick Flemings was still named WAC player of the week today after scoring a school-record 39 points at the Stan Sheriff Center in the Cal Poly game.

Flemings, however, is a senior. Will Nash follow him out of Hawaii?

Where things stand in the WAC

February, 17, 2010
Shortly after a stunning WAC-opening win against defending champion Utah State, New Mexico State forward Wendell McKines went on his blog and called out the team's fans for being "frontrunners" and failing to pack the house.

McKines eventually apologized for that and his arrest on a warrant for unpaid fines, but also wrote, "I really feel like something special is going to happen this year."

Lo and behold, attendance is up in Las Cruces as the Aggies have won seven of eight following McKines' online meltdown, are sitting only a game behind Utah State in the standings and could be the sleeper of the conference tournament.

The Aggies' high-powered offense features five players who average double figures, led by guard Jahmar Young (20.9 ppg). McKines (11.7 ppg) and forward Troy Gillenwater (15 ppg) both began the season academically ineligible, and their returns have sparked the team.

Louisiana Tech started 5-0 in conference play, but eventually fell back when New Mexico State completed the season sweep last week at home in front of 5,549 on an unlikely play -- Hernst Laroche's game-winning jumper with 1.1 seconds left.

That leaves perennial postseason team Utah State at the top and gives New Mexico State at least a shot to make itself heard down the stretch.

Top Players

Paul George, G/F, Fresno State, So. -- How good he George? After missing four games with a severely sprained ankle, he dropped 30 on New Mexico State in his first game back last week.

Luke Babbitt, F, Nevada, So. -- The 6-foot-9 lefty leads the WAC with 9.6 rebounds per game and can score from all over the court, averaging 21.6 points per game.

Armon Johnson, G, Nevada, Jr. -- Johnson is the reigning WAC player of the week after scoring 23, including the game-winning bucket against Idaho, and leads the conference in assists.

Who's Hot

Adrian Oliver, G, San Jose State, Jr. -- The transfer from Washington poured in 28 points on Saturday against Utah State, the most by an Aggies opponent this season.

Mac Hopson, G, Idaho, Sr. -- In the three games since being suspended for a curfew violation, he's scored in double figures and had 20 in Saturday's win at Fresno State.

Magnum Rolle, C/F, Louisiana Tech, Sr. -- The 6-foot-11 transfer from LSU by way of the Bahamas has been especially dominant on the offensive glass.

Who's not

Hawaii -- Second-leading scorer Dwain Williams has been suspended indefinitely, and fourth-leading scorer Jeremy Lay is set to undergo season-ending hernia surgery, as the Warriors have lost seven straight.

Boise State -- The Broncos haven't won this month, but hope they can have better luck with upcoming nonconference opponents Cal State Bakersfield and UC Davis.

Idaho -- The Vandals' one-point loss to Nevada last week left coach Don Verlin declaring his team was no "doormat," complaining about the officiating and earning a reprimand from WAC conference commissioner Karl Benson.

Key games to watch

Feb. 20 -- Louisiana Tech at Northeastern: Utah State lost in Boston in November, so it'll be interesting to see if the Bulldogs can steal a BracketBuster win there.

Feb. 25 -- Nevada at San Jose State: Oliver and Babbitt, the conference's top two scorers, square off in what could be a high-scoring affair three nights after Oliver goes up against Seattle's Charles Garcia.

March 6 -- New Mexico State at Utah State: This could be the deciding game for the regular-season championship, but Utah State is riding a 21-game conference winning streak at the Spectrum.

Hawaii suspends Dwain Williams again

February, 4, 2010
Hawaii has suspended guard Dwain Williams indefinitely for violating team rules, the school announced Thursday, marking the second time the junior has been suspended this season.

Williams, the team's second-leading scorer, had recently returned to practice after missing the previous five games while reportedly spending time in California mourning the death of his cousin.

Hawaii had suspended Williams for two games earlier in the season for missing practice and classes, according to the Honolulu Advertiser.

The former Providence starter has shown flashes of talent, scoring 20 points against UNLV and 36 against Saint Mary's at the Diamond Head Classic in December.

Inside Monday's box scores

December, 29, 2009
Five things to know from Monday’s action:

1. BYU guard Jimmer Fredette's 49 points broke a 48-year-old school record. Bob Skousen previously held the record with 47 points in game in 1961. Fredette’s total is the second most scored in D-I this season behind Rotnei Clarke's 51 points against Alcorn State in Arkansas’ season opener. Fredette added seven rebounds and nine assists. His 49 points plus seven rebounds and nine assists total of 65 are the most for a player this season.

2. Al-Farouq Aminu went off for 23 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks in Wake Forest’s win over NC-Greensboro. It was his first career 20-point, 15-rebound game, and the second by an ACC player this season (Miami’s Dwayne Collins). Four games ago against Elon, Aminu was benched to start the game after being late for a walk-through. In the three games since, he is averaging 19.3 PPG and 14.3 RPG.

3. Elliot Williams scored a career-high 27 points in Memphis’ win over IUPUI. The Tigers guard is shooting 56.5 percent from the field in Memphis’ nine wins, but just 30.0 percent in their two losses. Williams is the most improved scorer in the nation, having gone from 4.2 PPG last season at Duke to 20.7 so far in 2009-10. His +16.5 PPG increase is nearly three points greater than the next most improved scorer, Centenary’s David Perez. Tennessee-Martin’s Benzor Simmons is the nation’s third most improved scorer.

4. NJIT snapped a 38-game losing streak in true road games with a 65-56 win at Wagner. The Highlanders last true road win came on February 19, 2007 at Longwood. After going 1-59 over the last two seasons combined, NJIT is now 4-8, having defeated Wagner twice. Chris Flores led the way on Monday with a career-high 25 points.

5. All Dwain Williams wanted for Christmas was to get to the free throw line, and its worked. Williams scored 28 points in Hawaii’s 81-62 win over Northwestern State, following up his 36-point performance on Christmas. Williams has done most of his damage from the free-throw line, where he is 27-31 in his last two games. The transfer from Providence had only been to the line 35 times in his first 9 games combined.