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2018-19 Buffalo Men’s Basketball previews: Jeenathan Williams


Nate Oats took full advantage of the fact that one of the biggest recruiting hotbeds in New York was just an hour away from UB. He’s been aggressive in trying to keep talent near home, and it worked big time to reel in Jeenathan Williams, one of two four-star recruits joining the Bulls this season.

Number: 11

Year: Freshman

Position: Forward

Hometown: Rochester, NY

High School: Prolific Prep

Height: 6-5

Before UB

Williams started his high school playing career at the University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men in Rochester. He averaged 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists a game in his junior season. But, after dominating in Section V Basketball and receiving nearly 20 Division I offers, Williams felt he should go elsewhere to prepare for his college career.

Wanting to play a national schedule against tougher competition, Williams transferred to Prolific Prep in Napa Valley, California. He did pretty well there for his senior season, averaging 15.8 points a contest.

A program like UB’s shouldn’t be in the conversation for a top-100 recruit like Jeenathan, but Nate Oats and his staff have made Buffalo a viable option for top New York players to stay close to home. Beating out several Power 5 programs like Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Minnesota is unprecedented and a huge win for the Bulls.

Further Reading/Viewing

Jeenathan Williams 83rd On Rivals Top 150 List

Former UPrep basketball all-star Jeenathan Williams chooses University at Buffalo

2018-19 Outlook

Williams is the real deal and is going to be so much trouble for the MAC to deal with, even as a freshman coming off of the bench. He has an all-around game that could be even better than what Blake Hamilton’s was on top of being a speedy, athletic mismatch-nightmare at 6-6. With the Bulls losing Ikenna Smart to grad transfer, I definitely see Williams logging in some time, maybe even at the 4-spot for some small ball.