As the Cowboys readied for Monday's basketball practice inside Gallagher-Iba Arena, a tall figure in a T-shirt, shorts and a Chicago White Sox hat – flipped backward – stood underneath one goal, banking in shots off the glass.
The former Cowboy, convicted of rape by instrumentation and one count of sexual battery in July, was back in Stillwater, saying he's ready to move on with his life, but also ready tell his side of the story, after not testifying at his trial.
“There's a lot that needs to be told, needs to be said about the justice system,” said Williams, who was handed a suspended sentence and released from jail. “There were a lot of things that just weren't right.
“My people have reached out to Dr. Phil and Oprah. You're going to hear the story.”
Williams said he'll soon be returning to his hometown in Chicago to be around family. Williams remains on track to graduate. And he's not giving up on his basketball dream, although it's a dream that won't continue at OSU.
“I've had some teams reach out to me,” Williams said. “I'm not finished with basketball yet. Whether it's Division II, overseas or the D League, I want to play.”
SMART HONORS BROTHER WITH 33
Freshman Marcus Smart wore the No. 3 in high school and wanted it at OSU, only to find out that number isn't issued, in honor of Daniel Lawson, one of the 10 killed in the plane crash of 2001.
“I respect that,” said Smart.
The youngest of four brothers who all wore the No. 3, Smart still found a way to keep his college number in the family.
“It started with my oldest brother (Todd Westbrook), who was diagnosed with cancer,” Smart said. “When he passed away, I kind of took it on – 3 was my number. I got to thinking, my brother passed away at the age of 33, so I thought that was kind of significant. So I kind of wanted the No. 33. It meant a lot to me.”
LITTELL: COWGIRLS WILL RUN
OSU women's coach Jim Littell has made some tweaks to the offense, most notably stressing that he wants the Cowgirls to get out on the fast break more than last season.
Littell feels the up-tempo style will allow OSU to take advantage of the fact that their four main post players — Toni Young, Lindsey Keller, Kendra Suttles and LaShawn Jones – run the floor well. He also hopes it will create more open shots in transition for Liz Donohoe and Jordan Schultz.
And, perhaps most importantly, it lets point guard Tiffany Bias utilize her quickness.
“I've always felt the best way to score is to go get a bucket before the defense gets set up,” Littell said. “By running, it also allows Tiffany Bias to do what she does best and use her speed and her athleticism.
“We're still trying to figure out, but we're trying to play at a higher pace and we're going to stick with it.”
By John Helsley and Gina Mizell