Williams Becomes Program's First All-American
TAMPA, APRIL 2, 2016 – Since Courtney Williams committed to the University of South Florida approximately five years ago, the program has propelled into the national spotlight. Along with Williams, the Bulls have experienced many firsts: the programs first Top-25 ranking, its first NCAA Tournament Second Round appearance, its first trip to a conference Championship Game, and now the programs first true All-American. The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced its 10-member All-America list Saturday, and Williams joined the nations best on the coveted team.
Williams (Folkston, Ga.) a two-time WBCA Region 3 honoree and WBCA All-America Honorable Mention, makes her first appearance on an All-America team after leading the Bulls back to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years. Williams, one member of the most successful class in program history, led USF to four 20-plus win seasons, four postseason appearances and two American Athletic Conference Championship games.
In true Cinderella fashion, Williams was recruited by a few schools and landed in Tampa Bay on the advice of her mother. After a successful senior campaign at Charlton County High School, Williams had to earn her way to a starting spot for the Bulls. As a freshman, Williams started in her first collegiate outing, but became invaluable as the first player of the bench. Williams 7.4 points per game was a mere blip on the radar for the guard who ended her career averaging 22.4 points per game.
As a sophomore, Williams became an All-Conference First Team honoree and made her first appearance on the WBCA All-Region team. Williams led the Bulls to the WNIT Final Four, and ended the season just shy of 1,000-career points. Only one other person reached 1,000 points for the Bulls and that was USF Hall of Famer Jessica Dickson (’07). It was after her sophomore season, Williams became the first athlete to be compared with the program’s legend and the appeared to be on pace to shatter several of Dickson’s records.
The hype was warranted as Williams set the programs new single season scoring record (710) points as junior, and was a unanimous First Team All-American Athletic Conference selection. Williams’ 20.3 points per game earned her a recognition as an AP All-America Honorable Mention. Williams was followed closely by the national media, earning spots on several Player of the Year watch lists as a junior.
Williams saved her best year for last, breaking her own single season record, and became the first Bull in program history to reach 2,000 points (2,304), 900 rebounds (931) and 300 assists (318). Williams scored in double figures in all but one game this season, and recorded 23 20-point contests and five 30-point games.
Williams shined in the post season, and set a new NCAA Tournament scoring record, leading the Bulls to the second round for the third time in program history. Williams set USF’s new NCAA tournament single-game scoring record with 31 points to power the sixth-seeded Bulls to a 48-45 win over No. 11 seed Colorado State in the first round. Williams scored 65 percent of her team’s points, also a new NCAA Tournament record.
After leading the Bulls to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Williams ended her career shattering her own single-season points record with 763 points. She ends her career leaving her mark in the USF record books. In the single season ranks, Williams holds both the top (763) and second (710) spots in points, and she’s fifth in 3-point field percentage (.426). In the career books, Williams is second in points (2,304), just 100 points shy of Dickson. Williams finished with 931 rebounds, which ranks third, 318 assists (sixth), 163 steals (12th), 93 blocks (seventh), and a 3-pt field goal percentage of .353 (fifth) in the most games played by any player (138) and 98 starts, which ranks 11th in program history.
Williams will await her future in the WNBA draft scheduled for April 14. Williams looks to be the fifth Bull to be drafted to the WNBA.
The Bulls continue to climb in the polls, and have reached their highest rankings in program history. USF has been ranked as highly as No. 15 in the Associated Press poll and No. 15 in the USA Today Coaches Poll this season; both are the highest rankings in program history. USF has appeared in both polls every week and placed as highly as No. 11 on some ballots.
USF has made 12 postseason tournament appearances and had four NCAA Tournament berths in Head Coach Jose Fernandez’s 16 seasons. The all-time winningest coach in program history, Fernandez has guided USF to seven 20-win seasons, two WNIT final four appearances, the 2009 WNIT championship and won more than 280 games.
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