At times Florida point guard Jason Williams can be
extraordinary. His Allen Iverson-model crossover dribble has
everything except cornrows. His no-look passes have left WILSON
tattooed on more than one Gators' forehead. "I've learned to
have my hands up and my eyes wide open when he has the ball,"
Florida junior forward Greg Stolt says. "He has hit me in the
It's the ordinary that has tripped up Williams: making the easy
pass, going to class, learning to fit his Ferrari game into a
fleet of Saturns. "I'll be the first to admit I'm hardheaded,"
says Williams, a junior who as of Sunday led the 13-9 Gators in
scoring (17.1), assists (6.7), steals (2.7), tattoos (three) and
suspensions (two). He sat out the season opener as punishment
for missing too many classes last February, when he went home to
Belle, W.Va., for three weeks, intent on quitting school. Last
month he was suspended again for sulking after being benched and
refusing to join a Gators huddle during a loss at Arkansas. "I
was getting frustrated with my teammates and myself," Williams
says. "I realized they're not able to do some of the things I
think they can. I've gotten better at realizing who I'm throwing
the ball to and what they can do if they catch it."
Florida is the third college Williams has signed with in five
years, and it's his second school with Donovan. He committed to
Providence in 1994 but was released from his commitment after
coach Rick Barnes left for Clemson. Donovan persuaded Williams
to join him at Marshall, where he redshirted a season before
making the 1995-96 Southern Conference all-freshman team.
Shortly after that season Donovan accepted the job at Florida
and Williams transferred there, even though he had to sit out
Williams had three double doubles in his first six games at
Florida. Unfortunately for him, one of them was a 21-point,
12-turnover performance in an 83-81 loss to Florida State. As he
controls his game, so go the Gators. He had 24 points, four
assists and three turnovers in an 86-78 victory at then
seventh-ranked Kentucky on Feb. 1. Ten days later, toward the
end of a 26-point, seven-assist show in an 81-64 victory over
Auburn, he finished a fast break by throwing a no-look pass
backward to Stolt. With hands up and eyes open, Stolt caught the
ball but missed a dunk. If Williams had a reaction, he didn't
show it. Another obstacle overcome.
COLOR PHOTO: RONALD C. MODRA [Jason Williams]