- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Georgetown recruiting target Latavious Williams ended his school selection odyssey Tuesday by choosing Memphis over the Hoyas, Kansas State and Florida International.

The 6-foot-8 forward from Christian Life Center Academy in Humble, Texas, was ranked as the No. 17 player in the 2009 class by Rivals.com.

“It came down to Memphis and Georgetown, with FIU being a distant third,” said Scooter Owens, Williams’ AAU coach. “The academic situation at Georgetown was just a little intimidating to him.”

Williams had never received an official offer from Georgetown at the time of his pledge to Memphis. Although Williams made two unofficial visits to Georgetown in the last several months, his offer from the Hoyas was contingent on his earning a standardized test score that would qualify him to play next season. As of Tuesday, he still had not earned that score, which means he could have to sit out next season at Memphis as a partial qualifier.

The Hoyas need immediate frontcourt help after the early departure of junior forward DaJuan Summers, and they have not signed a partial qualifier during John Thompson III’s tenure. Georgetown would have been willing to wait for Williams to achieve a qualifying test score. But the lure of a guaranteed slot at a school close to his hometown of Starkville, Miss., prompted Williams to choose the Tigers and first-year coach Josh Pastner.

With Williams off the board, the top unsigned recruit is McDonald’s All-American Lance Stephenson. A 6-foot-5, 200-pound combo guard from Lincoln High in Brooklyn, “Born Ready” might be the most devastating scorer in this year’s prep class. Last week, Stephenson’s father listed his son’s final choices as Maryland and Arizona.

But with Florida sophomore point guard Nick Calathes headed to Greece, sources inside the Stephenson camp say the Gators have joined the sweepstakes. Memphis and Europe remain possible destinations for Stephenson, who faces character questions on and off the court. He was cut from the under-18 USA Basketball team last summer in the District. And he recently had his trial for sexual assault adjourned until June 29. He likely won’t make a decision until after the conclusion of those proceedings.

• Barker Davis can be reached at bdavis@washingtontimes.com.

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