ESPN Events: Gildan

For Cummings, Charleston Classic is personal

November, 14, 2013
For Will Cummings, there's nothing like playing at home ... or at least relatively close to home.

Temple's junior guard is looking forward to the Charleston Classic presented by Gildan for very personal reasons. For the 6-2, 175-pounder from Jacksonville, Fla., there aren't many games on the Temple basketball schedule near his home, which is why the eight-team tournament, which will be held from Nov. 21-24 at the TD Arena in Charleston, S.C., is special.

“I'm really looking forward to the tournament," said Cummings, who is averaging 17.5 points and three assists per game this season. "It's the closest game to my hometown. I'll have plenty of family and friends come up to the game. Charleston isn't too far from Florida.”

Temple will face Clemson in the opener on Nov. 21, which marks the beginning of one of the school’s toughest schedules in years. A member of the American Athletic Conference, the Owls have two games with defending NCAA champion Louisville, which includes a slate of NCAA opponents Cincinnati (twice), Villanova, Memphis, La Salle and Long Island.

This isn't lost on Cummings, however. “We’re playing all the big-name schools,” he said. “You always want to play the best. That's what really motivates you.”

Especially when you feel at home.

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.