Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Elliot Williams leaving Duke

Duke sophomore Elliott Williams (above) — one of only three perimeter players returning for the Blue Devils — has decided to leave the school for family medical reasons, the school announced this morning.

He is seeking to transfer closer to his hometown of Memphis, and is expected to file an appeal for a waiver of the NCAA's year in residence transfer rule that would require him to sit out the 2009-10 season.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Elliot and his family," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a prepared statement. "We fully support him in his efforts to be closer to them during this trying time. He is a good young man with an opportunity to become an outstanding player. We wish him well as he determines his future. He will always be a part of our program and we will always be in his corner."

Williams' decision could prove a heavy blow to Duke, because it leaves Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith as its only returning perimeter players. Williams averaged 4.2 points and 2.3 rebounds a a freshman, and started 11 of the Blue Devils' final 12 games.

Krzyzewski has said he plans to move Kyle Singler — who played power forward and center his first two years — to the small forward position. But without Williams, the Blue Devils are left even thinner on the perimeter.

Williams had five double-figure scoring games as a freshman, including a season-high 15 points at Maryland on Feb. 25. He also posted an 11-rebound game on Nov. 11 against Georgia Southern and sparked a 101-91 Duke win over Wake Forest on Feb. 22 with a season-high four steals.

-- Robbi Pickeral


Panthersguy said...

Wow, Duke is really going to suck this year.

Anonymous said...

This is terrible news for me as a Duke fan. Elliot was just starting to cement his spot in the line-up. I will miss his skills, but I hope his mother (reportedly) gets well soon.

Anonymous said...

Tough break for the Dookies. Wonder if K has Pete Gaudet on speed-dial!

Dook_Blows said...

Who will be the last to jump from this sinking ship?? What a joke of a team. Dook will be very lucky to be .500 in the ACC next year. Coach K molests collies, and he enjoys it. Dook does the seemingly impossible, they both suck and blow at the same time.

Matt Harrison said...

Revisiting this article as a Blazer fan. (Both Nolan Smith and Elliott Williams are Blazers).

Funny to hear the gloom & doom comments. Punchline to the story "Duke 2010: National Champions"