Why new transfer Rudi Williams thinks the BYU Cougars can help him achieve his biggest goal

Williams is BYU’s first transfer signing of the offseason, coming from Coastal Carolina

(Rudi Williams) Rudi Williams just transferred to BYU from Coastal Carolina, becoming one of three members of the 2022 signing class for the Cougars.

When Rudi Williams left Kansas State, he was looking for a a better basketball fit. He found it at Coastal Carolina, where he grew into one of the premier shooters in college basketball.

But after one season, Williams wanted more. He put his name in the transfer portal again, hoping to find a new experience, better competition and a chance to get set up to achieve his dreams.

When the BYU Cougars came calling, they sold him on just that.

“I want to put myself in the best position to have a chance to make the NBA,” Williams said. “I feel like I’ve done that with me committing to play at BYU.”

Williams was the first transfer signing of the offseason for the BYU men’s basketball team. He averaged nearly 15 points and shot better than 40% from the 3-point line at Coastal Carolina, and could be an immediate scoring jolt in the starting lineup next season.

Williams will be joining a backcourt vacated by Alex Barcello and Te’Jon Lucas, who exhausted their eligibilities after last season and will graduate from BYU this spring. Trey Stewart is the only true point guard on the Cougars’ roster at present, so Williams could presumably start right away.

Williams said that, as a fifth-year senior, he will bring veteran leadership. He will also bring shooting and a dog-like mentality on defense.

“I’m going to play hard,” Williams said. “It’s my last year of college basketball, so I’m going to literally run through a wall if I have to.”

Williams also had interest from Connecticut, Cal, San Diego State and others. But what stuck out to him about BYU was its coaching staff being “real” with him about life on and off the court in Provo. He also liked that the coaches had a specific plan for how they would improve his game.

Williams said former assistant coach Chris Burgess reached out to him when he was transferring out of Kansas State. This time around, BYU “full-court pressed” him from a recruiting standpoint, including traveling to see him personally before he went on his official visit.

Williams said he remembered how much BYU wanted him previously even though he wasn’t as much of a commodity.

“It made me have a lot of respect for them,” Williams said.

When Williams went on his visit, it was the first time he had ever been to Utah. It left an impression on him from multiple angles.

“I didn’t really know what to expect, but when I got there, I was blown away,” Williams said. “It was super nice there. BYU didn’t lack any resources. They had everything. The facilities were second to none. It was beautiful. I was impressed.”

Williams spent time with Stewart, Gideon George, Fousseyni Traore and Atiki Ally Atiki. He noticed that those teammates seemed to have a good relationship off the court, which he values.

“You have to like these guys, they have to like you,” Williams said. “If you want to do something special, the chemistry has to be there.”

Williams will join BYU before the school joins the Big 12. And even though he’s aware of some opportunities in the name, image and likeness space, he’s more interested in what he can do on the court in his last college year.

“They didn’t really have to do all the whistles and bells for me to commit there,” Williams said. “It was basically just basketball [that] was the reason why I committed to BYU. Just basketball, period.”

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