BlueGoldSports.com has learned that junior forward BillyDee Williams is leaving the West Virginia basketball program. BGS first learned of Williams' decision on Monday evening, which was later confirmed by other sources.
Williams was a JUCO transfer, who averaged 7.3 minutes per game for WVU this past season after playing for Iowa Western Community College in 2013, where he averaged 13.9 ppg. Williams was expected to receive major playing time for the Mountaineers this fall due to his size and athletic ability. He sustained a broken optical socket before the 2014-15 season even started and after that had trouble adapting to WVU head coach Bob Huggins' system. Huggins often criticized Williams' inability to learn the Mountaineers' defensive scheme, but praised his basketball athletic ability. Huggins was quoted on multiple occasions to say that Williams was the best athlete on the WVU basketball team.
With Williams no longer in the picture, look for Huggins and staff to move quickly to fill his spot. The first name to watch is JUCO guard Buay Tuach, who will visit the WVU campus this weekend. Tuach has the body build and athletic ability that WVU loses in Williams, but is a much better shooter than Williams was. Another name to watch is Robert Morris transfer Elijah Minnie. Minnie was recruited by the WVU coaching staff last year before committing to play close to home at Robert Morris. Minnie has been granted his release from the school and is looking at the Mountaineers as a possibility.
Either way it’s looking like there will be a new face in the Coliseum this fall.
Before publication of this article WVU released an official statement on Williams:
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (April 13, 2015) – West Virginia University men’s basketball junior BillyDee Williams plans to transfer to another school, coach Bob Huggins announced this evening.
“BillyDee and I met, and we mutually agreed that he should transfer to another school for his senior season,” said Huggins. “We thank BillyDee for his contributions to Mountaineer basketball, and we wish him success in his future endeavors.”
Williams, from Orlando, Florida, played in 18 games this past season, averaging 1.2 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.
— Written by Jeremy Simon, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and editor-in-chief of BlueGoldSports.com, a must visit for any and all West Virginia Mountaineer fans. Follow BlueGoldSports.com on Twitter @Blue_GoldSports.
(BillyDee Williams photo by All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks photo, courtesy of wvusports.com)