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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Missouri transfer joining Bulldogs

Johnathan Williams III is 6-9 power forward. (Associated Press)
Johnathan Williams III is 6-9 power forward. (Associated Press)

Johnathan Williams announced Saturday night that he will transfer to Gonzaga.

Williams, led Missouri in scoring (11.9) and rebounding (7.1) as a sophomore last season. He will be a key frontcourt addition for the Zags, who will lose Kyle Wiltjer and Przemek Karnowski after the 2016 season.

Williams will sit out the 2015-16 season under NCAA transfer rules and then have two years of eligibility. The Zags have added Washington transfer Nigel Williams-Goss, who will also sit out the upcoming season, and 2016 commitment Zach Collins, a 6-foot-11 post who has one year remaining at Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas.

“They’re really big on player development and they’re a top 10 team every year,” Williams said in a phone interview. “I feel like they can make me better.”

The 6-foot-9, 225-pound Williams typically plays the “4,” or power forward position, but he’s capable of stretching the floor with his perimeter shooting ability.

Williams said his three finalists were Gonzaga, Georgetown and SMU. He took his time and talked to numerous schools before making up his mind.

“It was just a great visit (to Spokane),” Williams said. “I just wanted to see what all the other schools had to offer. It hasn’t been too stressful, I just wanted to make a good decision based on facts and Gonzaga had all the facts.”

Williams, who is from Memphis, Tennessee, made 41.2 percent of his shots from the field, 34.4 percent of 3-pointers and 61.7 percent at the free-throw line last season. He averaged 5.8 points and 6.5 rebounds as a freshman.

“Shooting, dribbling, post-up,” said Williams, when asked what he brings. “I can play many positions on the defensive end and rebound and block shots.”

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