UH, Williams part ways
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
The enigmatic and nomadic basketball career of Dwain Williams will continue.
Just not at the University of Hawai'i.
UH men's basketball head coach Gib Arnold announced yesterday that Williams will not return to the Rainbow Warriors for his senior season, and will instead try to play professional basketball next season.
"Dwain Williams is foregoing his senior year to pursue a professional career," Arnold said. "I'm in the process of talking to people and teams already to help him pursue that career."
It brings an end to a roller-coaster year for Williams at Hawai'i. As a junior under then-head coach Bob Nash, Williams displayed flashes of brilliance on the court, but had even more disastrous distractions off the court.
The 6-foot guard played in just 14 of the team's 30 games last season. He finished second on the team in scoring with 14.0 points per game, and 3-pointers with 31.
During a three-game stretch in December, Williams scored 84 points, including 36 in a loss to Saint Mary's.
However, Williams missed 16 games, and only one was due to injury.
He was suspended twice during the season for violating team rules. The first suspension lasted two games; the second suspension was "indefinite" and ended up lasting the final eight games of the season.
Prior to the second suspension, Williams also sat out five games while mourning the death of a cousin.
In short, he missed the final 13 games of the season, and Hawai'i went 2-11 in those games.
Arnold was named Hawai'i's new head coach on March 20, and he allowed Williams to participate in team workouts and activities for the past two months.
"It was nothing personal," Arnold said. "We just came to a mutual agreement that it would be best for him to try and move on to the next level of basketball, which he is fully capable of doing."
Williams signed with Hawai'i last year. He played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Providence, and was a starter as a sophomore.
Williams has had a peripatetic reputation since high school.
He attended two different high schools in California, and a prep school in Florida.
Prior to signing with Providence, he committed to Miami (Ohio). After leaving Providence, he committed to Long Beach State, and then Oregon State, but wound up at a junior college in California before signing with Hawai'i.
Four Hawai'i players who were eligible to return next season will not: Williams, Jeremy Lay (will transfer to another school), Aleksandar Milovic (will also transfer) and Ji Xiang (graduated).
Williams' departure leaves Hawai'i with one scholarship to offer for the 2010-11 season.
Arnold, however, said he will keep the scholarship open for now.