A&M’s Williams hopes to make mark in NCAA tourney

A&M’s Williams hopes to make mark in NCAA tourney By Brent Zwerneman, Houston Chronicle March 13, 2018 Photo: Andy Lyons /Getty Images Texas A&M’s Robert Williams runs down the court against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the second round of the 2018 SEC Basketball Tournament at Scottrade Center on March 8, 2018 in St Louis, Missouri. Texas A&M’s Robert Williams runs down the court against the... COLLEGE STATION — Sophomore Robert Williams realizes he’s one half of a frontcourt with a likely NBA future, and he realizes that Texas A&M’s one-two punch at power forward and center has lacked pop more than he’s cared for this season. Express Newsletters Get the latest news, sports and food features sent directly to your inbox. Sign up Most Popular 1 Family of John Igo in fight over estate 2 In speech at alma mater, Nirenberg credits school for his... 3 Map: Contentious runoff set for Joe Straus’ seat 4 Prosecution strategy backfires in case of trans woman’s death 5 House chairman says Gov. Abbott’s staff discouraged bathroom... That’s why Williams, a probable first-round selection in the NBA Draft this summer, said the time is now for the country to find out about him and Tyler Davis. It better be, considering the NCAA Tournament is at hand and this is shaping up as the duo’s last chance to make long-lasting memories for Aggies. “We plan on leaving the impression that we’re the best frontcourt in the nation,” Williams said Tuesday in a visit with the Chronicle in the Cox-McFerrin Center. “That’s our mentality.” Seventh-seeded A&M (20-12) faces No. 10 seed Providence (21-13) at 11:15 a.m. Friday in Charlotte, N.C., in their opening game of the NCAA Tournament. Should the Aggies get past the Friars — and that’s no guarantee considering Continue Reading

Texas A&M’s Williams’ New Year’s resolution is accountability.

Texas A&M’s Williams’ New Year’s resolution is accountability. By Brent Zwerneman, Houston Chronicle January 5, 2018 Updated: January 5, 2018 7:11pm Photo: Sam Craft /Associated Press Image 1of/2 CaptionClose Image 1 of 2 Texas A&M forward Robert Williams (44) dunks the ball as Florida guard Deaundrae Ballard (24) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M forward Robert Williams (44) dunks the ball as Florida guard Deaundrae Ballard (24) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in College Station, Texas. Photo: Sam Craft /Associated Press Image 2 of 2 Florida guard Egor Koulechov (4) puts up a shot against Texas A&M forward Robert Williams (44) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in College Station, Texas. Florida won, 83-66. less Florida guard Egor Koulechov (4) puts up a shot against Texas A&M forward Robert Williams (44) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in College Station, Texas. Florida ... more Photo: Sam Craft /Associated Press Texas A&M’s Williams’ New Year’s resolution is accountability. 1 / 2 Back to Gallery COLLEGE STATION — Texas A&M star forward Robert Williams’ New Year’s resolution has nothing to do with eating better (A&M’s Slocum dining hall takes care of that) or exercising more (playing basketball does the trick). Most Popular 1 Auto dealer complaints, unusual investment seeds USAA’s $330... 2 Symphony board reverses course, rescinds suspension of... 3 After 17 years, Army bails out Continue Reading

Joe Williams steps up run to Golden Gloves goal

The big boys collided Thursday night when the luxurious New York Athletic Club on Central Park South opened its doors to the Daily News Golden Gloves and the 201-pound open and novice classes. The evening’s marquee matchup was between Earl Newman (Atlas Cops N Kids), a 2010 Gloves runner-up as a heavyweight novice, and Joe Williams (Rockaway Ropes), the reigning open champ and the No. 1 amateur heavyweight in the U.S. Williams switched from orthodox to southpaw so frequently, it was difficult to tell which the norm was. He appeared savvy, landing brutal body shots, then escaping the reach of the taller Newman on swift toes uncommon for a heavyweight. The changes in style seemed to bother Newman at first, but he adjusted and countered with both hands to make it a fight. Williams, though, would take a 4-1 decision and earn the P.C. Richard and Son Boxer of the Night honors over a worthy opponent. “I fought (Newman) here last year and beat him,” Williams said. “He did well tonight. I wasn’t as prepared as I usually am. It was a close bout.” “I think he’s my toughest opponent,” Williams added. “I’m glad I got him out of the way so I can cruise to the Golden Gloves. There's a lot of competition this year and I beat a lot of people in my division, so I knew they’d study the tape and come back strong.” With the U.S. Olympic Trials in Colorado Springs on the horizon, Williams admits he has been distracted. He is confident, however, that when he leaves on Feb. 25, he will be all business. “I’ve got a good chance,” he said. “I’m the littlest guy in my division, so they take that for granted and that’s a big thing for me.” Max Tassy (Redemption BC) made the jump from the novice to open class look easy, beating Nicholas Whittingham (Gleason's Gym) in a 5-0 rout. Tassy earned the heavyweight novice Gloves title in 2011. “I went Continue Reading

‘I will always be Mr. Mayor,’ Dennis Williams bids farewell

When reflecting on the four-year tenure of Mayor Dennis P. Williams, several city leaders expressed the same sentiment.Well, he tried."I just don’t think he had what it took," State Sen. Karen Peterson said."He tried his best with his capabilities," New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon said. "He was never experienced in running a government and he had to learn quickly."Observers said Williams, who lost the Democratic primary in September, was a stubborn executive who butted heads with city, county and state officials, struggled to fulfill campaign promises and was in over his head."He didn’t realize how small the city budget was and all the complications of running the city government with little resources and people's demands," said Williams' predecessor, three-term mayor Jim Baker.His strength, many said, is his affection for Wilmington."There’s no question he loves and cares for the city, and I think that is apparent to anyone that interacts with him," developer Rob Buccini said.City Councilman Bob Williams said he "loved it to a fault.""He didn’t want to hurt anybody, so he didn’t make the really tough decisions."At a farewell event Wednesday night, Williams appeared nearly an hour late. The mayor, who often appeared uncomfortable in public, aired a 20-minute video about his accomplishments and spoke for less than two minutes.His parting words were defensive: "I made some decisions. I wasn't going to buckle under those who tried to intimidate me. I wasn't going to do it then, and I'm not going to do it now. And if I was the mayor tomorrow, which I will be until (January) 3, anybody that's trying to intimidate this mayor will not be able to intimidate me. I'm not going for it. The people elected me to make decisions, not to be wishy-washy. And that's who I am. I am the mayor."Theo Gregory, outgoing City Council president who ran against Williams in this year's mayoral election, said the Continue Reading

Grand Street’s Williams Jerez, an MLB draft talent, says he’s 19, but not everyone is buying it

In the summer of 2009, Alex Santana was practicing in an East New York field when something caught his eye near the right field fence. There, he spotted a man soft-tossing kidney beans to his son, who was blasting the pellets with a violent swing of the bat. Santana, a former farmhand with the Seattle Mariners, jogged over to say hello. The boy had just arrived from the Dominican Republic, he was told, and had yet to enroll in a high school. Intrigued, Santana said he knew of someone who could help the boy find a school. This is how Williams Jerez, now the top prospect in the Northeast and a surefire early-round pick in the Major League Baseball draft that begins Monday, was first discovered: in a park by a complete stranger. A few hours later, in the sweltering heat, the father and son met Jose Genaro Jorge, a trainer of high school and college players who runs a baseball academy in upper Manhattan. Jorge quickly assessed the boy's talent and was riveted, fingering him as a major league prospect. Jorge set up a meeting with Ricaulte Pena, the athletic director and baseball coach at Gregorio Luperon High in upper Manhattan. The meeting didn't go so well. "The kid was a little older than what my principal usually takes," Pena told the Daily News from his office last month. "I try not to have any kids with baggage at this school." Something else occurred to Pena while looking at the physically impressive player: he looked older than his stated age of 17. "Yeah, it did cross my mind," Pena said. "It always crosses your mind when you see a kid who seems a little more mature than the rest." *** The rumors surrounding Jerez have only intensified since he was discovered on that Brooklyn sandlot in City Line Park. Jerez eventually enrolled at Grand Street Campus, where he has blossomed. With his smooth gait in center field and powerful swing, the 6-4, 190-pound Jerez has drawn comparisons to a young Carlos Beltran. Jerez led the PSAL in nearly every Continue Reading

Juan Williams fired: NPR host shouldn’t lose job over Muslim comments, and liberals should say so

NPR, a network for which I have the utmost respect, made a huge mistake by firing Juan Williams. They should say they're sorry and offer him his job back, now. This is what Williams said this to Bill O'Reilly this week: "I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country… But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous." For this, NPR canned him, saying, "His remarks on 'The O'Reilly Factor' this past Monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR." It is hard to read this as anything other than payback to someone who has been a regular commentator on Fox News for many years. It looks like the liberal network was salivating, searching for an excuse to get rid of someone they'd long ago decided was an irritant. If that was the reason for the firing, NPR brass should have had the guts to come out and say it. This is also, officially, political correctness run amok. Debate whether or not CNN was right to boot Rick Sanchez for saying dicey stuff about Jews and the media; I think their termination was an overreaction. Juan Williams has a body of work to look at; the proud snippet of the NPR bio I can still find by searching on Google calls him "one of America's leading journalists." His words should be understood in that context. He's chronicled the civil rights movement. He's written controversial but incisive critiques of social pathologies in the black community. He is nobody's tool. And - this is the most important part - the words and thoughts about Muslims themselves were utterly reasonable, especially when read in full context, as Slate's Williams Saletan has taken the time to do. As the conversation progressed, Williams took issue with Continue Reading

It’s William vs. Goliath: Thompson tackles Mayor Mike’s money machine

New York's next mayoral election is six months away - but the two leading campaigns are girding for battle.Brace for commercials blaring from your TV and radio; pollsters and recorded robo-calls dialing your phone; organizers trying to get your attention at your subway stop; and flyers and stickers popping up all over the city.It's all going to be courtesy of the people on these pages - the strategists and media wizards who put a big-city campaign together, the operatives who push to line up voting blocs and volunteers, and the press secretaries who try to get their message across.Mayor Bloomberg has the biggest bank account and the biggest team, with dozens of people working in his expansively remodeled Sixth Ave. headquarters and four satellite offices in the outer boroughs.He has hired Republican and Democratic operatives to work alongside each other, New York political veterans to line up support from ethnic groups and interest groups, and nationally known consultants to hone his message and target individual voters.Controller William Thompson, by contrast, has just seven people working for his campaign - two of them focused on trying to raise money to run against a billionaire.His team relies on local political pros, including several who have worked for him as controller.For now, they work from three rooms on lower Broadway sublet from a dentist's ­office - complete with dental equipment in the hallway.Bloomberg's campaign manager, Bradley Tusk, is a veteran of his first term in City Hall and is the only one in his operation with a formal title.Thompson's campaign manager, Eduardo Castell, was a deputy in his office until he left to run the campaign ­full time.Thompson had expected to face Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn/Queens) in the September primary election, but That will allow Thompson to save money, but it also deprives him of news coverage that can boost his profile without ­having to pay for advertising.City Councilman Tony Continue Reading


PHILADELPHIA - If Connecticut wins the national championship this year, Jim Calhoun can thank the school's student disciplinary council for only suspending junior point guard Marcus Williams for one semester following a stolen laptop scandal that rocked the Storrs campus. Williams arguably is the best point guard left in the NCAA Tournament and the biggest reason why the top-seeded Huskies survived a tougher-than-expected sub-regional here. Williams - the best passer Calhoun has ever coached - bailed out his team twice over the weekend. He scored 21 points and burned Albany with a flurry of offensive fireworks as the tentative, lethargic Huskies rallied from a 12-point deficit in the final 11 minutes to defeat the Great Danes, 72-59, in the opening round Friday. Yesterday, he took over the game down the stretch as UConn held off a determined, inspired Kentucky team, 87-83, to advance to a Sweet 16 matchup against the University of Washington in Washington, D. C. Williams scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half and made four straight free throws in the final 29. 1 seconds as the Huskies kept the Wildcats at arm's length after they had crept within 83-81 on a layup by Bobby Perry. He shot 6-for-10, hit all but one of his nine free throws and had eight assists in 30 minutes. "When I stepped to the line, the only thing on my mind was D. C.," Williams said. "This is my first Sweet 16. " Williams, who was an academic casualty the second half of his freshman year, when UConn made its 2004 national title run, doesn't act like the new kid on the block. He has learned to block those "Where's my laptop? " chants out of his mind. Williams is all business on a team that is the heavy favorite to win it all but hasn't always acted like it. UConn was one of four Big East teams - along with Villanova, West Virginia and Georgetown - to advance out of the first weekend. And Calhoun made sure this was a Big East love fest, telling Jim Nantz of CBS he was Continue Reading

Chris Mullin lands another recruit at St. John’s, Darien Williams skips out on Iowa State to join Red Storm

Chris Mullin's first St. John’s team has its first new player. Darien Williams, a 6-8 junior college shooting guard, has committed to the Red Storm and will likely sign in the coming week. The Williams commitment comes just a day after Tennessee freshman Tariq Owens said he would transfer to St. John’s. Williams can play this coming season while Owens is required by NCAA transfer rules to sit out a season. Williams had committed to Iowa State last November after then-Cyclones assistant coach and current Johnnies assistant coach Matt Abdelmassih was the point person in recruiting him. Over the weekend, Iowa State released him from his commitment so he could make the move to St. John’s. He did not play this season at City College of San Francisco after undergoing surgeries on both shoulders. In 2013-14 at Iowa Western, he averaged 16.1 points and 6.1 rebounds and made 37 three-pointers on 41% shooting beyond the arc. Before committing to the Cyclones, Williams had scholarship offers from Louisville, Nebraska, USC and Kansas State.  Continue Reading

Leonard Williams, defensive lineman from USC, taken by Jets in NFL draft

When Mike Maccagnan spoke of taking the best player available, he wasn’t messing around. With the sixth pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night, the Jets’ rookie general manager did something awfully familiar: He took a defensive lineman. This time it was Leonard Williams, a 3-4 defensive end who became the fourth player at that position to be selected by the Jets in the first round in the last five years. Williams should only reinforce one of the greatest strengths of the team. MYERS: LEONARD WILLIAMS A JET, BUT GENO SMITH IS STILL THEIR QB Virtually no one anticipated the USC star landing with Gang Green. Many considered him unlikely to fall to the sixth pick, which became possible when Washington selected Brandon Scherff fifth. Plus Williams plays the same position as Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson. The Jets themselves were among those who weren’t expecting to be able to land Williams. “He was the best player (left) on our board and were kind of surprised he actually fell to us,” Maccagnan said. “It was too good of a value to pass on at that point in time.” The GM said Williams was one of the top three players on the Jets’ board heading into the draft and also noted that he didn’t see a single mock draft that had the USC defensive lineman ending up with the Jets. The selection of Williams marks the sixth straight year the Jets opted for defense in the first round. MEHTA: JETS MAY HAVE LANDED THE BEST PLAYER IN THE DRAFT Many considered Williams, who is 6-5 and 300 pounds, one of the absolute best players in the draft. “Leonard Williams is hands down the best player in the draft. He is Reggie White,” a scout told NFL.com. “He will be a perennial Pro Bowler - no and’s, if’s or but’s.” Williams was surprised he ended up with Gang Green, Continue Reading