Former Missouri forward Johnathan Williams III will leave the program and transfer to Gonzaga. Williams made the announcement on his Instagram. Gonzaga won out on him despite competition from SMU and Georgetown.
A former four-star recruit out of Memphis’s Southwind High School, the 6’9″, 225 pound Williams led the Tigers with 11.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game while shooting 41 percent from the field and 34 percent from long range. In two seasons in Columbia, he posted 8.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest and made 43 percent of his field goal attempts.
But his time at Missouri wasn’t an ideal one for such a highly regarded recruit. The Tigers went 23-12 (9-9 SEC) in Williams’ freshman season, in which he played under Frank Haith, but took a step back last season in going 9-23 (3-15 SEC) and finishing dead last in the SEC in its first year under Kim Anderson.
Thus, Williams will now sit out a season and then suit up for a Bulldogs team what will desperately need an electrifying presence after key players Kyle Wiltjer and Przemek Karnowski graduate. It will also be an improvement for Williams in that while Gonzaga plays in the less competitive WCC, the team has won three consecutive conference titles and just made its first Elite Eight under longtime head coach Mark Few.
Simply put, it’s a chance for Williams to get better national exposure on a team that is in a better position to compete now. Sure, we may miss watching him play for a year but trust me. With Gonzaga as his set destination, it will be well worth the wait.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports