Mark Pope made late-night trip to Amari Williams in order to keep him committed to Kentucky

After landed a few additional forwards, Mark Pope made a late-night trip to see Amari Williams and keep him committed to Kentucky.
Feb 2, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Drexel Dragons forward Amari Williams (22) shoots over
Feb 2, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Drexel Dragons forward Amari Williams (22) shoots over / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky had all of the recruiting momentum last week all started by the commitment of Drexel forward Amari Williams.

But, according to reports, Williams almost re-opened his recruitment and left Kentucky.

According to ESPN's Jonathan Givony, Mark Pope had a 'late-night' meeting with Williams on Wednesday night.

"Following a late-night meeting with head coach Mark Pope, Amari Williams will remain committed to playing for Kentucky next season," Givony wrote.

Why was it so pressing last night? The transfer portal officially closed at 11:59 pm on Wednesday night, meaning if your name wasn't in the portal at that time, you could no longer enter.

Williams was the first commit for Pope and has an extremely important skillset for Kentucky moving forward.

The 6-foot-10, 230-pound center averaged 12.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game this season. He finished with 10 double-digit rebounding games and eight double-doubles. 

Williams is best known for his defensive ability and shot blocking. He led the CAA in blocks last year for the third straight season and has averaged 1.8 blocks per game over the course of the last three years. He had a block rate of 8.3 percent this past season and 8.7 percent for his career.

"At times, Amari Williams looks like a man among boys on the court,” Pope said of Williams when he signed. “He is a three-time conference defensive player of the year, which is incredibly hard to do. He is bringing a big presence to the game and is going to serve as a rim-protector and rebounder. Amari is a gifted defensive player who can switch onto any position, one through five, which will add security to how everybody else feels on the court."

The commitment became murky when Kentucky added Andrew Carr and Brandon Garrison, both 6-foot-10 and bigger forwards, over the last week.

Kentucky had just two players on the roster when Williams committed, so seeing the roster fill up entirely differently than it looked before was something at the top of Williams' mind.

Pope has been terrific in the portal this spring and his ability to keep Williams in the fold was yet another win.