Kentucky and DeAndre Williams have officially parted ways, according to Rivals reporter David Sisk.
This is old news to some, but It was confirmed to me earlier that Kentucky is totally out of the DeAndre Williams sweepstakes. We heard a couple of days ago that there was a mutual parting, but this is the most official capacity I have heard it. @KentuckyRivals— David Sisk (@CoachDavidSisk) May 15, 2020
It would appear DeAndre Williams is no longer an option for the Kentucky Wildcats.
According to The Athletic’s Kyle Tucker, Kentucky appears to be backing away from Williams’ recruitment, partly due to his complicated background.
My sense is UK backed away from the table on Evansville transfer DeAndre Williams. There’s a lot going on there with a 24-year-old Class of 2016 guy who played for a home school team, had a lost year, then prep school, then ineligible year and has 18 career D1 games.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) May 13, 2020
As Tucker notes, Williams had a complicated recruitment before he landed at Evansville, only to be ruled ineligible in 2018-19 before finally becoming eligible in 2019-20.
In 18 games last season, Williams averaged 15.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 2.7 assists. In Evansville’s upset over Kentucky, Williams recorded nine points on 4/9 shooting, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Unfortunately, a back injury cost Williams much of January and February, so he was unable to put a full season together while playing at such a high level. Evansville was 9-6 before he got injured, then went 0-17 the rest of the way.
Williams will also have to apply for an immediate eligibility waiver to be eligible next season, something he has a very strong case for getting from the NCAA. His case stems from a rocky season at Evansville which saw coach Walter McCarty, a former Wildcat and NCAA national champion, fired following a Title IX investigation for misconduct.
Even with all of the red flags, Williams was regarded as one of the top frontcourt transfers this offseason. That’s an area John Calipari has been rebuilding after losing Nick Richards, EJ Montgomery and Nate Sestina.
If Williams, who will be a junior next season, is ruled ineligible, he’ll have to wait until 2021 before he can suit up for his next team.
Alas, it seems as though the chances of Williams landing in Lexington are dwindling by the day. Perhaps this is why we’re starting to hear more about Makur Maker being a legitimate option to finish off Kentucky’s frontcourt.
And as to where Williams lands, the Baylor Bears, Memphis Tigers and Arkansas Razorbacks are his other finalists, and he’s also testing the NBA Draft waters. Perhaps the chances of him remaining in the draft are higher than many realized.