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November 30, 2012

Williams working on refining his game

Playing Division 1 basketball is not easy. It takes a great amount of skill, but maybe even more hard work, long hours in the gym, and tons of time in the film room.

One player on the Robert Morris basketball team that may best emulate these qualities is redshirt junior guard Coron Williams. Williams came to RMU from Christchurch School in Midlothian, Virginia, where he averaged just over 19 points per game, shot 46 percent from three, and 55 percent overall.

The numbers don't lie, Williams is a marksman.

"Yeah, I've always been a good shooter. I have a lot of confidence in my ability, and I try to use that to set up the rest of my game," Williams said.

His ability to shoot the ball has not gone unnoticed, as Williams was listed 34th on CBS Sports top 50 shooters list. Only one other NEC player appears on the list, Sacred Heart shooting guard Shane Gibson. Last season Williams made an impressive 87 threes, and finished the year shooting 41 percent from down town. This uncanny ability to shoot the three would get any player noticed, but it has been the other areas of Williams's game that have made him the starter he is today.

"When I got here, I was blown away by the speed and intensity. That first year here, taking a red-shirt, that was big for me. I learned so much. It was incredible," Williams said. "I got to play against some great guys every day, Velton (Jones) K, (Karon Abraham), and Mez (Mezie Nwigwe). Those guys were tough. It was amazing how much better I got in that year alone. I learned quickly that I had to work on my game, and I did."

One area that really stuck out when Williams arrived at Robert Morris was his defense. Williams has put in hours at the gym and in the film room to refine and develop on that side of the ball.

"When I got here, I barely knew what defense was. I had so much to learn. I can't tell you how much time I've spent working on that side of the ball," Williams said. "I know I've spent hundreds of hours looking at film, learning where to be, when to stop middle penetration, who to rotate over to. The mental aspect is so important."

But he also didn't stop there. He had to put in hours of work to physically get up to speed.

"I understand I'm not the fastest guy in the world. I have done so many agility workouts, working on foot speed to make up for that," he said. "I don't think I'm the best defender on the team by any stretch, but I've come a long way."

While defense has been a major part of Williams's improvement over the past couple of years, he has also developed more of an offensive game.

"I knew I couldn't rely solely on shooting perimeter jumpers. I really have tried to develop my handling, and become a more complete player. I know I still have to do a better job with this, and I work on that area of my game every day," Williams said.

When asked about how this season is going, Williams noted the team has done some things well, but has to improve, especially when it comes to decision making.

"We're doing all right. 3-4 isn't great but it's not bad. We have room for improvement. We have to start limiting our mistakes," Williams said. "When the season started off, effort was an issue, but now everyone is on the same page. The new guys know what to expect, and it all starts in practice. If we can limit mistakes, we will be just fine."

Williams also understands what is at stake Saturday, when the Bobcats of Ohio come to Moon to rekindle what he says has become a little bit of a rivalry.

"Yeah, we try to treat it like any other game, but I and a lot of guys in that locker room want to beat these guys. We want to beat them bad. I don't know, it's just something about them," Williams said. "You could even say it's a little bit of a rivalry. We understand they are a real good team. D.J. Cooper is an amazing point guard, and they have a really good cast around him. There is a reason they have had so much success, going to the NCAA tournament, winning games. It's going to be a battle."

Williams will have to be a key figure for the Colonials if RMU wants to pull off a big time resume building win over an undefeated Bobcat team (6-0) that is fresh off a run to the Sweet 16 last season. He and Robert Morris will have to be sound defensively, and out work the Bobcats, but for Williams, that's nothing new. He's been doing that since he arrived at Robert Morris, and he will continue to do so as his career goes on.

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