Troy guard Hunter Williams makes statement heading into opener

Published 11:05 am Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hunter Williams came to Troy University looking for the opportunity to play basketball at the Division I level. On Friday, he will not only play, but will play a major role in the Trojans gameplan against Mississippi State.

Williams transferred from College of Central Florida, a two-year community college in Ocala, Fla., where he helped lead the Patriots to the state title game. Central Florida lost to eventual national runner-up Northwest Florida State, but caught the eye of Troy coaches.

The 6-0, 175-pound junior played a major role in Central Florida’s first-ever back-to-back Mid-Florida Conference championships averaging 11.8 points and 4.4 assists while shooting 38 percent from 3-point range.

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Williams played point guard for the Patriots and will see a lot of action there for Troy, but he will also rotate with Emil Jones and Antoine Myers and the No. 2 guard spot.

“There are different aspects to it. The two, you’re looking to score. At point, you’re looking to get the team involved,” Williams said. “Each one has its own feel to it. I liked playing both.”

In Troy’s exhibition against Alaska-Anchorage on Monday, Williams led all-scorers with 19 points including five of the last seven to lift the Trojans to a 61-57 victory.

Coming through in the clutch is something Williams has done his entire career and something Troy head coach Don Maestri hopes will continue with the Trojans.

“He’s a little tricky guy, who understands the game inside out,” Maestri said. “He can really shoot. I think he’ll be a very solid player for us.”

Williams prides himself on his unselfishness and tough style of play.

“Basically, I not looking for my shot, I’m looking for the best shot for the team. I just want to win,” Williams said.

With Williams and Myers headlining a group of newcomers, team chemistry is also a concern. Williams says this year’s team has come together quickly.

“Guys are helping each other and really in it for the team,” he said. We’re really close of the court as a team. We get along really well.

Williams chose Troy over Jacksonville and Florida International.

Troy opens the regular season at the new Trojan Arena against Mississippi State on Friday. The game is set for a 7 p.m. tip.