For once, Robert Morris fans can hear the word “transfer” and smile.
The Colonials picked up a commitment from 6-2 combo guard Josh Williams, who has played the last two seasons at Akron. Williams averaged 7.5 points-per-game this past season, while starting nine games. He shot 37 percent from three, and should bring some badly needed scoring to the Colonials backcourt. He’ll have to sit out this upcoming season, and will have two years of eligibly left.
Williams comes from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School out of Akron, Ohio (yes, the school LeBron James went to). His brother, Jon Williams, will be a freshman point guard at Robert Morris next season. He (Jon) committed to Andy Toole a few months back. Interestingly enough, a local rival may helped RMU get Williams commitment. Duquesne fired Jim Ferry, and replaced him with Keith Dambrot, the former coach of…you guessed it, Akron.
Some thoughts: Just over 24 hours after Isaiah Still announced he was leaving, RMU fans needed some good news and they got some. Williams really played well at Akron and should be a great player for Toole. He can shoot the three, play on or off the ball, and will have a whole year to get acclimated to Robert Morris before we see him in a game. Williams will be the first transfer RMU has gotten from another Division One school in some time. The Colonials had a few that committed but never played a game (see Jarius Lyles). I believe Mike McFadden is the last to actually play a game (UPDATE: Leo Gomis did transfer in from Siena after McFadden.) in from. This could become a more common trend.
We know RMU, and the NEC as a whole, have been devastated by young underclassmen or graduate transfers leaving their respective schools looking for better on court opportunities. I would not be shocked to see more schools fill scholarships with transfers and JUCO’s that coaches feel will be less inclined to leave. Also of note…Williams will be the first player to play his entire RMU career at the UPMC Events Center. In this instance, I would guess his brother being on the team had more of an influence then the facility, but UPMC certainly had to of been talked about before he committed. This is an excellent tool (no pun intended) for Toole to use both recruiting high school talent and transfer talent that may otherwise have passed over Robert Morris.