London Williams said he really liked the recruiting pitch used by the coaching staff at St. Cloud Tech.
“I really want to win a national title – that’s the main thing,” the Cambridge-Isanti graduate said. “When the coaches at St. Cloud Tech talked to me, that’s what we talked about. Hopefully we can go all the way.”
At this point, Williams and the Cyclones appear capable of claiming that championship. St. Cloud Tech was ranked third in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III basketball poll released on Feb. 3.
The Cyclones won their first 19 games in a row before losing for the first time this season – in double overtime to a Rochester Tech team that also is ranked in the national poll.
“We’ve got two solid guards who are both D-I players,” Williams said. “That’s why I came to St. Cloud: I wanted to play with them. But we’ve got a bunch of guys who are solid in their roles.”
The 6-5 forward has been solid in his role as well, coming off the bench to average 8.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest.
“When I came here, I knew I wasn’t going to be the main guy,” Williams said. “That helped me adapt to that role. It might have been different if I had come in here expecting a big role or to be ‘the man.’ But we have solid, big men who can rotate in. Next year I’m hoping to have a bigger role on this team. But this year I’m just worrying about trying to win games. I’ll do anything to help us do that.”
Williams said part of his individual focus has been to improve his field-goal percentage. It appears that work has paid off: He entered play this week making 59.0% of his shots from the floor, one of the best marks in NJCAA D-III basketball.
“I’m trying to not miss wide-open layups, and finishing through contact around the basket,” Williams said.
St. Cloud Tech was not even in the top 20 of the national poll before the season this season began. But Williams said he and his teammates have always believed they could contend for a national title, so the Cyclones’ place in the polls is of no concern to them.
“We were the only undefeated team in the nation, and we sat at No. 6 for three weeks in a row,” Williams said. “We just want to prove the doubters wrong. We’ve been the underdog team all season long. If we don’t have a target on our back, we’re just lollygagging. When someone fuels our fire, that’s when we turn it up.”
Academically, Williams is in his first year in the business management program at St. Cloud Tech. His goal is to complete work on an associate degree in business by the spring of 2021.
“I had focused on finance when I started, but I’ve liked the marketing classes I’ve taken a lot,” he said. “I think I might switch to marketing.”