By Tracy Ringolsby, WelcomeTo72220.com
Eighteen months ago, Marcus Williams initially committed to play for Northern Colorado and the Bears coach at the time, Jeff Linder. When Linder resigned from the Northern Colorado job to become the head coach at Wyoming in mid-March 2020, Williams quickly withdrew his commitment to the Bears, and began a Wyoming Cowboy.
But not for long. Oh, he played his freshman season for the Cowboys, and was selected the freshman of the year in the Mountain West Conference.
On Tuesday, however, Williams announced he had entered the transfer portal, which prompted a brief statement by Linder that was issued by the athletic department, which indicated that Williams would not be returning. A player can withdraw from the transfer portal and return to his original school, but only if the decision to return is welcomed by both parties.
“We thank Marcus for his contributions to our program and we wish him well in the future,” Linder said in the statement.
That was followed by the line: Linder will not have any further comment in regard to Williams’ transfer.
Williams is the second Cowboy to enter the transfer portal since the season ended. Two weeks ago, sophomore Kwane Marble II announced he was transferring Loyola Marymount where former Wyoming head coach Allen Edwards is an assistant coach.
Linder preaches defense and team play, and there were signs in the second half of the season that he was challenging Williams. When the Cowboys played Boise State on Jan. 31, Williams was not in the starting lineup for the only time all season. Linder was sending a message about the importance of defense.
And it was a statement, but obviously not a punishment in light of the fact that Williams wound up playing 30 minutes in that game. Hunter Maldonado, who played 32 minutes, was the only member of the Cowboys to get more floor time than Williams.
In the final seven games of the season, Williams scoring average dropped to 12.6 points per game, including just four points in the regular-season finale against Utah State, in which he played a season-low 22 minutes.