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Pacific grad transfer Williams going to Rice instead of Montana


MISSOULA — A week after committing to the Montana men’s basketball team, Jack Williams is taking his talents to Houston instead.

The graduate transfer from the University of the Pacific verbally committed to play his fifth and final year at Montana on April 17. On April 24, Williams rescinded that pledge, instead announcing he has signed with Rice University.

Following earning his communications degree from Pacific, the 6-foot-8, 220-pound Williams fielded graduate transfer offers from Clemson, Boise State, Wyoming, Washington State, Montana and Rice. His previous connection to UM All-Big Sky guard Michael Oguine — the duo helped Chaminade Prep in Los Angeles to the California state title Williams’ senior year — combine with the connection he felt to Montana head coach Travis DeCuire and Montana’s prospects of making a second straight run to the NCAA Tournament all helped Williams initially choose the Griz.

“Right fit and best chance to make the tournament and make a run in the tournament,” Williams said from Stockton via cell phone on April 16. “Some of these teams, you are talking about the Mountain West where, you saw in the WCC this year, Saint Mary’s didn’t get in. It’s hard when there are a bunch of teams in the league and it’s a one-bid league most of the time.

“I feel like we have the best chance at Montana to make the tournament and me to have a big role on this team while doing all that.”

Instead Williams, who averaged 8.7 points and 5.9 rebounds last season at Pacific, will join Rice of Conference USA. In Scott Pera’s first campaign, the Owls went 7-24, winning four league games and finishing 13th in the conference.

Griz hoops lands grad transfer forward Williams

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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