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C.J. Williams is considered the most heralded recruit in the Wolfpack's class. Williams has a really smooth game. He never tries to do too much, and he is always under control. He has deceptive athleticism and is comfortable attacking the basket and finishing with both hands.
Perhaps his biggest strength is his ability to hit the mid-range jumper. He is strong with his stroke curling off screens and continues to improve his ballhandling. He rebounds extremely well for his position and is active defensively in the passing lanes and around the rim.
|Wing C.J. Williams|
Williams projects as a small forward or shooting guard on the next level, and he is polished enough to contribute right away for the Wolfpack.
He committed to NC State last November after receiving early offers from Clemson, Virginia Tech, Miami, South Carolina, and East Carolina among others. He is regarded as one of the top three senior players in the state of North Carolina, joining fellow standouts Victor Davila (Virginia Tech) and Ty Walker (Wake Forest).
In his junior season, Williams averaged 24.2 points, 9.5 boards, and 3.6 blocks as he led Britt to a 18-9 record. He scored double figure in all 27 games, scored 20+ in 22 games, and five times he scored over 30 points.
The 2006 Mid Southeastern Conference Player of the Year was also named first-team All-Conference for the second straight year while being tabbed second-team all-state.
After starting the season hot, Jack Britt faltered down the stretch and the Bucs lost by one point in the opening round of the state playoffs to Roxboro (NC) Person.
"With it being the third year in a row that we were knocked out in the first round, it hurt pretty bad," Williams said following the loss. "After the game I was hurt, and for some reason I felt like I wanted to cry, but I couldn't. I knew I did my best, and my dad always tells me that if you do your best you can't be disappointed with the outcome."
Britt enters this season in great shape. The Bucs return their two top scorers and should receive a boost from the development of rising junior center Xavier Nixon. Expectations remain high at Jack Britt as the Bucs are the preseason favorite to win the Mid Southeastern Conference.
"I feel great about next season," said Williams. "We've got a lot of guys that played a decent amount this year. We've got our top two scorers coming back in myself and Cornelius Snow. We have a good point guard in Mike Mathis coming up and a great big man in Xavier Nixon.
"He doesn't try to do too much, and he knows what he can do. He's got a great love for the game, almost as big as mine. It's important when you play basketball to have that passion."
Following today's press conference, Williams will began his senior season with a home game against Fayetteville (NC) E.E. Smith.
Guard Julius Mays was actually the first NC State commitment in the 2008 class, verbaling to the Wolfpack in late October of 2006... prior to the first game of his junior year.
Mays, a 6'2 saavy scorer from Marion, Indiana, will add a scoring punch to the Wolfpack's backcourt. He is a fiery competitor and has the ability to play both backcourt positions, a true combo guard.
|Guard Julius Mays|
A three-star prospect according to Scout.com, Mays verbaled to NC State over early offers from Indiana and Xavier. Cincinnati, Purdue, Notre Dame, and Penn State were expressing heavy interest.
Mays was one of the most productive prep players in the state of Indiana during his junior season. The 6-foot-2 point guard averaged 19.6 points and 4.6 assists while shooting 46% from the field, 42% from 3-point range, and 82% from the foul line.
Marion finished the season 21-4 and advanced to the state 4A semifinals where they were defeated 56-48 by East Chicago Central. Mays was tabbed Conference Player of the Year, Region Player of the Year, all-conference, all-region, and he was a first-team all-state selection.
"I think we achieved a lot as a team, and I achieved a lot individually," said Mays. "We didn't win the state championship, but we return a lot so we are going to start over and keep trying to get better. We are just going to work on everything, and I want to lead our team to the state [title].
"I feel real confident. I think we can do real good and make it real far. I don't want to put too much expectations on us but I want to take it game-by-game."
Mays will make his commitment official at a press conference this evening in the media room at Marion High School.
"We're going to have a little press conference at 6:00," said Mays. "We'll have some people there, and I'm going to sign before our first scrimmage game. My coach is going to take care of faxing it in after that."
With the Class of 2008 likely complete, NC State now can turn its attention to the rising juniors and already have targeted several major prospects. Point guard John Wall, combo guard Lorenzo Brown, wing Noel Johnson, forward Ryan Kelly, and the country's No. 1 prospect, Derrick Favors, all have offers and are seriously considering the Wolfpack.
Wall and Kelly are local products and the Pack are in great shape. Because Mays and Williams committed so early, NC State was able to heavily recruit Johnson, Brown, and Favors, who all hail from Georgia, this summer.
2008-2009 Projected NC State Hoops Roster (Scholarship Players)
F/C Ben McCauley, Sr. G Courtney Fells, Sr. F Brandon Costner, RS-Jr. G Farnold Degand, Jr. G Marques Johnson, Jr. G Trevor Ferguson, Jr. F Dennis Horner, Jr. F J.J. Hickson, Soph. F Tracy Smith, Soph. G Javy Gonzalez, Soph. F Johnny Thomas, RS-Fr. F C.J. Williams, Fr. G Julius Mays, Fr.