Freshman forward Vince Williams said he lives for a rowdy home crowd. This affinity for a raucous environment helped draw the Toledo, Ohio native east to Broad Street, where he hopes to carry on VCU’s trademark tradition of depth and versatility on the wings.
A four-star, 6-foot-6-inch, 220-pound small forward, Williams averaged 15.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game while dishing out 104 assists his senior year at St. John’s Jesuit High School. The CT sat down with Williams to gauge how he’s adjusting to his new home, teammates and coaching staff.
The coaching staff and teammates. On my official visit here, I felt like it was the place for me. They just brought me in and it’s a really close system.
[The University of] Richmond was also in your top six — are you excited to get accustomed to that rivalry?
Yes, for sure. It’s a big game, really just down the street. So it’s like back at home where rivalry games are really big.
What has the move from Ohio to Richmond been like for you?
I’m not homesick, so that’s good. (laughs) Really, the big thing is probably the weather, it’s a lot warmer down here and I like that. The things around, restaurants, people — it’s a very different culture and I like it.
Depth and versatility on the wings have always been a staple at VCU, are you excited to carry on that tradition?
Yes, for sure. I feel like I’m already learning from the older guys right now. They really give me good advice, and that will transfer to the court.
What are the biggest strengths of your game? Coach Ed Heintschel of St. John’s Jesuit High School said your passing ability really allows you to make your teammates better. Is that something you focus on?
Yes. I’m really not a shoot-first kinda guy. I just go with the flow, let my teammates do their thing and just wait my turn. You’re always gonna have opportunities to score, so I’ll just attack and then pass it to them. I believe in my teammates to knock down shots.
How do you feel like you’re fitting in with this group of guys?
Good, I enjoy it every day. I like seeing them every day, and the passion is really good constantly.
What do you think of the practice facility?
I like it, just being able to go to the gym anytime you want to. I’ve really never had that before, the ability to work on your game anytime.
Do you feel the special energy around basketball, since we’re a big school that doesn’t have a football team?
Yes, for sure. I like it here, I like that [energy]. It’s like back in high school.
What does Ram Nation need to know about you?
I’m gonna come in and do what I do best, help the team, have a way better season and go to the NCAA Tournament.
You’re getting along with coach [Mike] Rhoades and the coaching staff well?
When I first met him, it’s been the same energy now that I’m actually here. So I really like him.
What motivates Vince Williams?
Rowdy crowds, for sure. Home court advantage. The intensity of the game. Just the team going out and giving their all.