KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee basketball sophomore Grant Williams was all about the competition in the Pilot Rocky Top League, even if he wasn’t scoring a lot of points or always dominating.
Williams showed up in the title game and Vols transfer Chris Darrington was notably absent, as Williams’ Rice Buick GMC team won the summer league title Monday night at Knoxville’s Catholic High School.
Williams scored 9 points on 4 of 8 shooting while blocking a half dozen shots and grabbing 10 rebounds, asserting himself defensively in a 119-105 win over Tillman Companies.
“This league was great, just the competitiveness of it and having the fans out here was great, even if I did get dunked on tonight,” said Williams, who shot 71 percent over the course of the summer season and averaged 12.2 points per outing. “But playing defense is the biggest area where I feel I’ve improved my game since last season.”
The 6-foot-5, 234-pound Williams averaged 12.6 points and 5.9 rebounds for the Vols last season and is expected to be a force once again during the 2017-2018 campaign.
Former Lincoln-Memorial standout D’Mario Curry, a 31-year-old Detroit native who has played overseas, threw down the monster dunk over Williams during the action.
Charles Clark, a 6-2 guard from Carson-Newman, led Williams’ team with 129 points in five games this season (25.8 points per game) and was named the MVP of the league’s 11th season by commissioner Andre Whitehead.
Vols incoming freshman Zach Kent was also on the championship team and averaged 6.3 points per game.
Fellow Tennessee incoming freshman Derrick Walker was on the losing end in the title game but managed 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting (2 for 4 from the free-throw line) to cap his season.
Darrington was relatively productive for the Tillman team, but he failed to live up to being the league’s No. 1 overall pick even before his surprise no-show on Monday night.
The Tennessee players are off from training this week, and while all of the other Vols scheduled to play were present, Darrington was not.
Darrington averaged 15.3 points per game in the summer league, making 38.1 percent of his 2-point attempts and going 12 of 33 (36.3 percent) shooting the 3-pointer.