Texas prep Samuell Williamson returns to KU’s campus for official visit

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By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Samuell Williamson already knows pretty much all there is to know about the University of Kansas and its storied basketball program.

Williamson, the No. 35-rated player in the high school hoops recruiting class of 2019 according to Rivals.com, attended the 2017 Late Night in the Phog as well as the Jayhawks’ Feb. 17 home victory over West Virginia as part of unofficial recruiting visits.

Add to that the fact the 6-foot-7, 190-pound senior guard/forward from Rockwall (Texas) High School has a brother and mother who both attended Kansas and it’s easy to see why he referred to KU in an interview (with 247sports.com) as his “dream school.”

This weekend, Williamson, who has narrowed his once-vast recruiting list of more than 30 schools to five, will have the full attention of KU’s players and coaches, who Friday through Sunday will play host to Williamson as part of an official recruiting visit. He’s also set up visits to Texas A&M (Sept. 7-9), Louisville (Sept. 14-16), Oklahoma (Sept. 21-23) and Texas Tech (Oct. 5-7).

“My mom is a graduate and my brother just graduated last year,” Williamson said of KU to Rivals.com. “They (KU coaches) say that I could come in and play multiple positions and do a lot of different things in their offense.”

After witnessing KU’s victory over the Mountaineers last February, he told Rivals.com: “I met all of the players before the game, and me being a Kansas fan my whole life, it was cool meeting Devonté (Graham) and Svi (Mykhailiuk). I’ve been watching those guys for four years, so it was cool getting to meet them. I also talked with KU legend Sherron Collins for a minute, which was cool hearing from him.

“During my visit, Coach Howard (Jerrance, assistant) just expressed to me that I’m one of their priorities,” Williamson added. “It was great catching up with Coach (Bill) Self and the rest of the coaching staff.”

Jayhawk fan Williamson has given other schools chances to impress, that’s for sure.

He’s made unofficial visits to Louisville, Ohio State, Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma, LSU, Michigan and others.

“He’s done a good job these past few weeks of doing his homework,” Rockwall High coach Quincy Williams said recently in an interview with the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. “That’s one of the big things his mom preaches to him and I preach to him is gather information, and he’s doing that. He’s taking these unofficials and obviously he thinks Ohio State is a good place so it’s a reason why he’s going up there to gather more information, to make a good decision.”

Williamson played point guard for his high school team last season.

“I can shoot it, I can rebound, I can pass ... It’s becoming a position-less game, and I can play in a lot of spots,” Williamson told 247sports.com.

“My athleticism (has improved),” he stated to Rivals.com. “I’m a lot more athletic now than I was last summer. I’m just out here with something to prove and chip on my shoulder. When my jumper is falling I feel like nobody in the country can stop me.”

He’s known as one of the most versatile high school players in the country.

“I’ve heard the 2, the 3, some people think he could play some 1,” coach Williams told the Columbus Dispatch, referring to Williamson’s college position. “Some guys that play the 4-out guard system say 1 through 4. It’s been all over. They like his versatility. Position-less basketball, that’s where the game is headed. You can just plug him in wherever you need him and he can go play it. Then with him adding weight and strength and once he gets to college, when he gets his college body it’s going to be ‘game over.’’’

Williamson averaged 12.6 points on 45.8 percent shooting, 6.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game for Drive Nation AAU this past spring and summer on the Nike EYBL circuit.

Taylor to play in Italy

Former KU guard Tyshawn Taylor will play for Fiat Torino in Italy this season, according to sportando.com. The team will be coached by former KU coach Larry Brown in 2018-19.

Taylor, 28, last spring started at point guard for Guaros de Lara, which defeated Trotamundos de Carabobo in seven games for the Professional Basketball League title in Venezuela. Taylor scored 27 points in the title game and was named MVP of the finals series. Former KU forward Mario Little also was a member of that title team.

Little, 30, has signed a one-year deal with KK Zadar, a pro team in Croatia.

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Walker lauds KU’s player development

Anthony Walker, a 6-8 senior forward from Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., who this week cut his list to eight schools (KU, Boston College, Illinois, Maryland, Miami, Pittsburgh, Rhode Island and VCU), currently is ranked No. 95 nationally by Rivals.com.

The Baltimore native had a productive spring and summer playing for Team BBC on the Adidas circuit.

I played hard and I kept going no matter the score or the situation in the game,” Walker told Rivals.com. ”I’m also athletic and I had some eye-catching plays because of that and caught some people’s eyes. My jump shot, I’ve been working on it and it’s getting more and more consistent and I’m trusting it more. That’s big.”

He will attend KU’s Late Night in the Phog on Sept. 28 as part of an unofficial visit. His official visits: Illinois (Sept. 5), Pitt (Sept. 14), Rhode Island (Sept. 21), Miami (Oct. 5) and VCU (Oct. 19).

“They are huge on the development of players, especially at my position,” Walker said of KU’s coaches to Rivals.com. “Also knowing how the program is for their players before and after graduation, the support. I know that whether I go to the league or not I’ll always be able to go back there.”

Hawks sign Robinson

The Atlanta Hawks have officially announced the signing of former KU forward Thomas Robinson to a non-guaranteed contract.

Robinson, 27, averaged 8.5 points and 5.7 rebounds a game in 28 games last season with Khimki Moscow in Russia. He hit 48.7 percent of his shots. Robinson, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, has played in 313 career NBA games with the Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers. He has career averages of 4.9 points and 4.8 rebounds.

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