“Hoops” Weiss talks UK transfer Amari Williams

Dick “Hoops” Weiss of the New York Daily News is one of the nation’s most respected college basketball writers and has watched new Kentucky signee Amari Williams play at Drexel where he was a three-time Colonial Athletic Association defensive player of the year.

“He is a major defensive presence with a 7-5 wingspan. He’s big and can block shots. He’s a definite rim protector,” Weiss said. “He went to prep school in England but he is pretty fundamentally sound.”

Williams has played in 105 games at Drexel and averaged 10.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.6 assists per game in his career. Last season he averaged 12.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.8 blocks per game.

“I don’t see him as a focal point offensively for Kentucky,” Weiss said. “He was the biggest kid in the league but only averaged 12 points per game and you kind of think he should have done more.

“The SEC will be a big adjustment for him. It’s not like he played against a lot of athletic bigs in the Colonial. He is a three-time defensive player of the year but I don’t see him being Anthony Davis. He is a good kid and I think he will fit the mold of what they are looking for.”

Fitting that mold could be partially due to his passing ability because coach Mark Pope’s offense likes to utilize a center’s passing ability.

“He’s not a bad passer. He sees the floor. But I have not seen a lot of his perimeter game,” Weiss said. “He was the best pure center in Philadelphia last season. He blocked some big shots during his career at Drexel but I really don’t think anybody expected him to be on the radar of Kentucky, Mississippi State and St. John’s like he was.”

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Zac Oakes is the News and Sports Director for LakerCountry.com and Laker Country WJRS 104.9 FM.