February 12, 2008
Williams steps up in Presbyterian win
Presbyterian head coach Gregg Nibert made a decision not to guard Kenny Williams around the free-throw line.
Who could blame him? Williams hasn't been particularly proficient from the field or the free-throw line in recent weeks.
But with the confidence of Ray Allen, Williams rose up and stroked three mid-range jump shots, including one off the high glass, in the Rebels' 66-55 win Monday night over Presbyterian.
Williams' 15 points had Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy happy. How he got those points, that's another story.
"I'm not sure we want to continue that pattern," Kennedy said. "I did think he was really good early."
Williams had nine first-half points - more than he'd scored in 10 of his last 12 games.
Senior Dwayne Curtis said things are noticeably different for Ole Miss (17-5) when Williams is an offensive factor.
"When he brings us productivity, energy and rebounds, we're a lot better - a lot better," Curtis said. "When he has his off nights, we're not as good as we're capable of being."
Curtis was pretty good himself Monday night, leading everyone with a game-high 24 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
While the Rebels consistently look to Curtis on the block, Williams said his offensive production has been limited by Ole Miss' impressive guard play.
"I felt when SEC came, everything would've picked up," Williams said. "We've got a lot of perimeter players that are trying to get their points. They're trying to do their thing.
"I'm the type of person who's going to surrender to the team. I'll defend and rebound."
But to do that, Williams has to stay on the court. Foul trouble has sent Williams to the bench fairly often in recent weeks, as the senior forward has had three or more fouls in five of the Rebels' last seven games.
"I have to stay on the floor," he said. "I try to play more aggressive and for some reason, the refs want to call fouls on me. For now, I'm just trying to save my fouls in the first half and act a fool in the second half."
While Williams played well Monday night, he said he knows he has to bring the same energy and output against Alabama Wednesday night - a game Williams said the Rebels need to win.
"I don't really feel too good after scoring 15 points against Presbyterian. They're a first-year D-1 team," he said. "If I go and get 15 against Alabama, you might see a big smile on m face.
"We got to get this win. We're trying to get to 23 (wins). If we get there, we'll make the NCAA Tournament."
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