Louisville's Samuell Williamson improving defensively


Samuell Williamson realized his offensive skills might get him on the floor, but his defense would keep him there. The freshman scored 14 points on 5 of 6 shooting as Louisville men’s basketball defeated Clemson 80-62 at the KFC Yum! Center Jan. 25.

Although an offensively efficient performance highlighted Williamson’s game against Clemson, his defensive improvement allowed him to play more. The 6-foot-7 wing played 25 minutes in Louisville’s sixth straight win.

“Defense prevented him from being on the floor in longer stretches earlier,” Louisville coach Chris Mack said. “What I’m most pleased about is where he’s grown on the defensive end, which he had no idea what he was doing when he got here.”

Williamson watched film and studied the play of Darius Perry and Dwayne Sutton to learn Louisville’s defensive scheme. He admitted to being more confident on the defensive end compared to several weeks ago.

“I know if I don’t perform on that end of the floor, I’m not going to play as much as I would like,” Williamson said. “I have always had offensive confidence. Just been getting a lot of reps in practice, watching a lot of film, I think that has allowed me to have higher confidence on that end of the floor. Now Coach trusts me a little more on defense.”

Williamson showed his offensive ability in the first half against Clemson, scoring 10 points and making all four of his shots in 10 minutes of play. Williamson’s 14 points were his total in conference play and one-point shy of his season-high.

“He is offensive rebounding, he’s got a great pull-up game, he can finish around the rim,” Mack said. “We run some stuff for him, and he’s just going to continue to get better and better.”