The Rutgers men's basketball team added senior guard Jeremiah Williams on Thursday. The Iowa State transfer first committed to Illinois earlier in the offseason before de-committing from the Fighting Illini and joining the Scarlet Knights.
Williams started his college career playing two seasons for Temple. He transferred to the Cardinals for his junior season but missed the entire season due to an Achilles injury he suffered in October. Upon the conclusion of his junior season, Williams decided to enter the transfer portal again.
Williams has three years of collegiate eligibility remaining but will need a waiver from the NCAA to play this season since he is a two-time transfer. The chances of Williams receiving a waiver to play this upcoming season are unclear.
Williams' injury timeline is also unclear, and even if he does receive a waiver, he may not be healthy enough to play at the start of the season. Despite this, Williams expressed his commitment to getting healthy and playing at the start of the season if granted a waiver.
"I'm excited to work myself back before the season starts," said Williams.
Williams is a 6-foot-4 guard that is known for his defensive tenacity and his passing ability. Williams averaged 1.2 steals per game as a freshman and 1.4 as a sophomore. His defensive ability as a slightly taller guard should mesh well with head coach Steve Pikiell's defense-first philosophy.
Williams is a talented passer as well, having led the Owls with 4.3 assists per game (APG) in his sophomore season and 4.1 APG in his freshman season.
"Rutgers fans can expect an unselfish, tough, defensive-minded winner," said Williams. "They're getting someone who's going to play hard and put everything on the line every time on the floor."
Williams will need to improve as a scorer during his time with Rutgers. Though he averaged 9.5 points per game in his sophomore season, he only shot roughly 23 percent from beyond the arc and roughly 63 percent from the free throw line.
If he can add more shooting range to his game, Williams can be a dangerous two-way player for the Knights.
Williams sees himself as a potential leader for the team and expressed Pikiell's view of him as a leader as well.
"He sees me as one of the older guys and a leader for the team," said Williams. "He sees me bringing my leadership, toughness and to be the person and player that I am."
Williams stated that one of his main reasons for joining Rutgers was Pikiell’s character.
"(The team is) excited to have me, but what caught my attention the most was the type of person coach Pikiell is," said Williams. "He comes off as a genuine person that takes care of his players, and that’s something I was really looking for."
With Williams' commitment, the Knights now have two open scholarship spots. Rutgers will look to fill one or both of those scholarship slots before it goes on its international trip to Senegal and Portugal on August 8.
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