Evansville transfer DeAndre Williams has made his decision.
On Friday, the talented forward committed to the Memphis Tigers. He was also considering the Kentucky Wildcats, Baylor Bears and Arkansas Razorbacks. He will now seek a transfer waiver to play next season as a junior.
A 6-9 combo forward hailing from Texas, Williams averaged 15.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 2.7 assists per game this past season. He played a pivotal role in Evansville’s shocking upset over Kentucky, going for nine points on 4/9 shooting with four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Williams was regarded as one of the top frontcourt transfers this offseason, which is why Kentucky was strongly interested in him and even looked like the favorites at one point. However, things broke down and both sides mutually parted ways ahead of his decision.
Thankfully, Kentucky was able to land Wake Forest big man Olivier Sarr earlier this week. He was easily the best frontcourt transfer this offseason. So while Kentucky did fail to land Williams, they still go the guy the big man they so desperately needed.
Williams would have also been an odd fit for Kentucky, who returns sophomore Keion Brooks Jr. to man the 4 spot, while incoming freshman forwards Lance Ware and Isaiah Jackson will also likely see significant playing time at the 4.
Williams can also play the 3, where one of Brandon Boston or Terrence Clarke figures to play heavy minutes next season, so he wasn’t going to have the kind of major role at Kentucky that he would get at a school like Memphis, who lost a lot of key players this offseason and have struggled to find adequate replacements on the recruiting trail.
Make no mistake about it, though. Williams would have been a monster addition for the Cats and made them an even stronger title contender. But he plays a position that Kentucky has capable bodies at going into next season, so this is a loss the Cats can overcome.