How bad did the Wyoming men’s basketball program want to sign 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward Tyrell Williams from Norland High in Miami, Florida?
Bad enough that once UW assistant coach Allen Edwards got the recruiting process started, the rest of the coaching staff followed.
Williams signed with the Cowboys Tuesday.
Head coach Larry Shyatt made two trips to Miami to watch Williams play, and to also meet with Williams and his mother. Assistant coaches Scott Duncan and Jeremy Shyatt also made trips to Miami.
The relationship the UW coaching staff built with Williams and his mother, LaShante Gay, was crucial, but so was the relationship it built with Williams’ high school coach — Lawton Williams (no relation).
Williams and his mother visited Laramie last weekend.
Williams averaged 7.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots per game as a senior. He also helped Norland win three consecutive state titles in Class 6A.
Here is a link to some video highlights from Williams as a senior:
Shyatt and Williams were on a conference call with the media Tuesday afternoon. Of course, there was the question of what attracts a player from Miami to Laramie. I think that question gets asked to any recruit these days.
Williams and Shyatt both said the fit was right. UW has had success getting players from Miami. Senior-to-be guard Charles Hankerson Jr. and departed senior guard Jerron Granberry both are from Miami. Hankerson transferred from Alabama in the summer of 2012 and Granberry played one season after transferring fro North Florida.
Williams handled the barrage of questions well. He said Laramie’s weather and altitude won’t intimidate him, and even joked about the wind in Laramie during his visit.
“The wind hit me in places I never thought wind could hit you,” Williams said with a laugh.
He also said Hankerson and Granberry were good guys to talk to, and added that both asked him a lot of questions about whether or not UW and Laramie would be a good fit for him.
Shyatt said Williams has the body to help UW right away, which should help him when he comes in for eight weeks this summer so he can work on his overall game and purely on physical conditioning. However, Shyatt didn’t guarantee that Williams will help or play right away.
“Everybody (on this team) is competing for playing time,” Shyatt said.
Williams said if summer workouts go well that he “absolutely” can help UW right away. His strengths right now are on defense, which should fit in well with the Cowboys. Williams said his high school program had a defense-first mentality.
For more on Williams, what UW has in mind for its last remaining scholarship and an update on the knee rehab for senior-to-be Larry Nance Jr., see Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.