Notre Dame Basketball

Coach | 2020 F Terrance Williams "First Class" Person, Player

July 22, 2019
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As the head basketball coach at Gonzaga College High School for more than a decade, Steve Turner has seen his share of standout players and people.

Turner puts Terrance Williams up there with all of them.

“First class,” Turner says to describe the 2020 forward. “I just finished my 20th year at Gonzaga. As a human being and a student-athlete, he’s one of the best I’ve had.

“He’s the ultimate team player. He’s been a great leader, great teammate, great student around the school. The teachers love him to death. I don’t think there’s a bad word I could say about the young man.”

Turner can count on Williams to bring the right kind of energy to his powerhouse program in Washington, D.C.

“He’s always going to pump up the guys,” the coach explains. “Guys get down and he’s the first one to build them back up. He leaves everything he has as a teammate on the floor for his team.”

Williams also puts the team ahead of himself.

“As a high school player, he’s a guy who’s giving up the position he’ll play naturally in college to be a big guy for us,” says Turner. “He’s one of our bigger guys. He’s not really a 5-man, but he gives up himself for the team and the program. It’s helped our success because it allows us to do a lot of different things with him and create a lot of mismatch problems.

“He’s a guy who’s willing to sacrifice some of who he is as a player and who he has the potential to be at the next level for the benefit of our team being able to have success.”

Still, the 6-foot-6, 210-pound Williams has proven himself worthy of many opportunities at the next level and recently trimmed his list to eight schools - Notre Dame, Georgetown, Michigan, Virginia, NC State, Stanford, South Carolina and DePaul.

Turner sees Williams being able to play either forward position on the next level.

“He can play that stretch-4,” the coach says. “He’s really, really shooting the ball well now. He puts it on the deck. I think at the college level, he’ll play between the 3 and the 4.”

Williams took an official visit to Notre Dame back in May and Turner believes he would “fit in great” in Mike Brey’s system.

“He’s a guy who is multi-dimensional,” Turner says. “I think they see a lot of the things Bonzie (Colson) was able to do; he can stretch it out and shoot outside the three, but also be able to take guys in the post and play in the mid-post.

“He’s a kid who can score at all three levels, so you’d have an opportunity to move him around and use him in multiple ways on the offensive end. Defensively, he’s just a tough kid. He’s always had to play against bigger guys and that’s never been an issue for him.”

Turner and Williams have a connection to the Irish through point guard Prentiss Hubb, who is entering his second season in South Bend. Williams and Hubb have plenty of history playing together and are “really good friends,” according to Turner.

“They played together through middle school and high school,” Turner continues. “Between the two of them, playing together whether it’s AAU, high school and middle school, they’ve probably won between 200 and 250 games together. Certainly, they have a chemistry that you can’t really teach. It’s been there because they’ve played together for so long.”

Having Hubb at Notre Dame certainly helps the Irish, but it won’t be enough by itself to land Williams.

“I think he’d certainly love to play with Prentiss again if that ends up being his decision, but I don’t think that will be solely why he makes a choice,” says Turner.

Fortunately for the Irish, they also check the other boxes.

“If you look at the schools he’s looking at, one, he’s made the choice to look at the schools that match what he’s getting here at Gonzaga in terms of the academics and athletics. That’s been a big piece to him deciding on those to be the final schools. I think he’s just trying to find the school that will give him the best fit for the next four years and what place may give him the best opportunity to reach his dream, which is trying to get to the NBA.”

 
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