April 28, 2003

NORMAN, Okla. - Capitalizing on a third straight Big 12 Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance, University of Oklahoma men's basketball head coach Kelvin Sampson signed a highly touted junior college guard to a national letter of intent today. Jaison Williams, from College of Southern Idaho, will join the Sooners for the 2003-04 season and have two years of eligibility.

A 6-2, 180-pound combo guard, Williams played in 31 games his freshman season (2001-02) at Xavier and averaged 2.2 points in 8.0 minutes per game. At College of Southern Idaho this past season, Williams averaged 14.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.1 steals per game for the 26-6 Golden Eagles. He shot .481 from the field, .411 from three-point territory and .859 from the foul line. He was named a second-team All-Region 18 junior college selection.

"We felt we needed experience and depth at the guard position," commented Sampson. "Jaison can play either the 1 or the 2. We feel comfortable with Andrew Lavender and Lawrence McKenzie as incoming guards, but they're going to be freshmen. Jaison will give us security there and will also provide depth with De'Angelo Alexander and Jason Detrick already in the backcourt.

"He played for one of the nation's premier basketball programs at Xavier and is now a year older and a year better after spending a season in junior college. He's extremely mature, is an outstanding three-point shooter and just a very good guard. Jaison is also a great kid and a great student."

Said College of Southern Idaho head coach Guy Beach, "Jaison is an excellent three-point shooter with combo guard skills. He played point guard until he got here and he played mainly the 2 for us. He can score, he can pass, he can handle the ball and he's a good defender. I think Jaison needs to get a little stronger in order to take the punishment of the Big 12 for two years. But he's a great kid with no baggage, no problems. He comes from a good family and is an intelligent and mature kid. He'll help Oklahoma because he's already played at a high level at Xavier, and he played at a high level here."

Williams becomes the fifth member of the current OU recruiting class, but just the first juco transfer. The Sooners signed four high school seniors last November in 5-7 McDonald's All-America guard Lavender, 6-1 guard McKenzie, 6-6 forward Brandon Foust and 6-10 center Longar Longar.