ESPN Events: Chaz Williams

McDermott, Williams Named Wooden Top 25

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
When the Los Angeles Athletic Club recently announced its Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, it wasn’t surprising to find on the list two standouts from teams that recently played in two of ESPN Events’ early season tournaments: Creighton’s Doug McDermott (in the DIRECTV Wooden Legacy) and Massachusetts’ Chaz Williams (in the Charleston Classic presented by Gildan).

McDermott, a 6-8, 225-pound senior forward, is averaging 24.3 points and 7.2 rebounds a game, and has led the Bluejays (17-3) to the top of the Big East Conference. A two-time All-American in 2012 and 2013, he could become the first three-time All-American for the men’s selection since North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough (2007-09).

McDermott’s season got off to a solid start, beginning in the Wooden Legacy. He scored 27 points to lead Creighton to an 88-60 win over Arizona State in the first of three games. In the second contest, he tallied a game-high 30 points in an 86-80 loss to San Diego State.

Williams, a 5-9, 175-pound senior, averages 15.8 points and 7.3 assists a game. His stellar play has the 13th-ranked Minutemen (17-2) in second place in the Atlantic 10 Conference. He is ranked fourth nationally among the leaders in assists. UMass set the tone for a breakout season with its 62-56 win over Clemson to capture the Charleston Classic title back in November.

The winner of the Wooden Award will be honored at the 38th annual gala, which takes place the weekend of April 11-13. The event also includes the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American teams and the Legends of Coaching Award.

UMass’ Williams continues to raise eyebrows

November, 6, 2013
If you watch 5-9 point guard Chaz Williams play for Massachusetts, the first thing you might notice is his size and ability to break his man down in the open court. The Minutemen’s diminutive senior is one of the most explosive players in the Atlantic 10 Conference, leading UMass in scoring last year at 15.5 points a game.

But when UMass plays in the Charleston Classic presented by Gildan (Nov. 21-24 at TD Arena in Charleston, S.C.), the Brooklyn native will also showcase his ball handling talents, too. A year ago, he averaged 7.3 assists a game, tops in the A-10.

And, while people are starting to take notice, Williams stays humble. “Coach (Derek Kellogg) did a great job this year setting up our schedule. We have a tough schedule from early on, so from game one we have to get out and understand everything coach wants us to do right away. We don't have much time for room for error because we're playing much better teams.”

The accolades continue to pour down for Williams. He was recently named as a candidate for the Bob Cousy Award that was announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, one of 46 players from Division I on the list.

“I'm blessed and honored to be mentioned,” says Williams. “It's a great feeling to be recognized as one of the better point guards in the country. Whatever I can do to make my team better is what I go out to do. Plus, my teammates do a great job of making shots and getting ball screens for me.”

That’s Williams, ever the facilitator.