Williams Stepping Up in Second WNBA Season
By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA, JUNE 7, 2017 – Courtney Williams was once a force for USF women's basketball and the multi-talented guard is back to her old ways in the WNBA.
Williams, a second-year pro, put together a show-stopping performance last Saturday night, scoring a career-high 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lead the Connecticut Sun to an 85-77 win at San Antonio. Williams' first WNBA double-double included a 10-for-11 shooting night from the field.
“It definitely brought me back to those USF days, hitting the boards and putting up those type of numbers,” said Williams in a phone interview Monday. “My teammates saw that I had it going, so they kept finding me. It felt good to get in that flow.”
Williams got into her groove quickly, knocking down her first six shots before finishing the first half with 15 points and seven rebounds.
“I need to keep that momentum going into our next couple of games,” Williams said. “We have to try to get more wins, so whatever I can do.”
Doing a little bit of everything on the court is something that comes quite natural to Williams. The 5-foot-8 playmaker finished her USF career second all-time in points (2,304), third in rebounds (931) and eighth in assists (318).
Bulls fans should still fondly remember Williams' senior campaign in 2014-15, when she led The American in scoring (20.3 ppg) while breaking the USF season scoring record with 710 points.
After becoming the Bulls' first All-American, Williams was selected eighth overall by Phoenix in the 2016 WNBA Draft, playing in six games before being traded to Connecticut. Williams has provided the Sun with a big boost off the bench this season, averaging 10.6 points and 4.4 rebounds through the first seven games.
“I think the more I'm consistent, the more my minutes will be consistent,” she said.
Williams has posted three double-digit scoring games already this season while playing 24.2 minutes per outing, a 10-minute increase from her rookie season average.
“The flow of the game is a little bit different now. I'm learning from my vets and trying to keep it going as I'm getting older,” she said.
The rising 23-year-old also feels like she fits right in on a team that's filled with younger talent. Nearly 60 percent of Connecticut's roster is made up of players 25 years old or younger. One of Williams' teammates is an old conference foe, former UConn forward Morgan Tuck.
“It's great, we love each other on and off the court,” said Williams of her WNBA squad. “We always have a good time and hang out with each other even when we don't have to. I think having that chemistry off the court helps us play better together when we're on the court.”
Despite her busy pro career, Williams has kept close ties with USF since graduating and made sure to attend the Bulls' NCAA tournament appearance in Tallahassee this March. Williams said she's happy to see USF make more strides on the national scene with longtime head coach Jose Fernandez still going strong at the helm.
“I think Coach Jose is an amazing coach, so whatever he has to do to get wins I know that's what he's going to do,” Williams said.
As for Williams, she'll look to build off her WNBA career performance in Connecticut's home game against the Atlanta Dream on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena. Streaming options are available HERE.
Williams' USF Feats
All-time rankings in program history
- 2,304 points (2nd)
- 763 points in 2015-16 (season record)
- 931 rebounds (3rd)
- 138 games played (2nd)
- Eight 30-point games (T 2nd)
- 16.7 career ppg (T 3rd)
- 318 assists (8th)