As of Aug. 1, the Massachusetts Minutemen have a new assistant coach in Marlon "Smoke" Williamson and he comes with all kinds of recruiting ties.
In 2000, Williamson played for Youngstown State which was coached by current Kentucky assistant coach John Robic. On Robic’s staff was current UMass head coach Derek Kellogg. The relationship’s come full circle as Kellogg hired Williams for an assistant coaching position.
Last month, Williamson was the head coach for “The Family” a Detroit-based AAU team laced with exceptional talent. Williamson’s been at the controls of the squad since the program's last coach, Durand "Speedy" Walker, took a position within the Detroit Pistons organization.
Kellogg sat courtside at the Nike Peach Jam watching “The Family” play, knowing he might have a shot at some of the program’s top-tier talent. James Young (Troy, Mich./Troy), No. 5 overall in the 2013 class, is the team’s best player but he’s not going to the Atlantic 10. Kentucky, Michigan State and a host of others are hot on his trail. However, the program has two players that Kellogg can reasonably assume he’ll have a shot to sign.
Prior to hiring Williamson, Kellogg’s dipped into the talent pool of the AAU team before. During the coach’s stint at Memphis under John Calipari, Kellogg helped the Tigers sign Chris Douglas-Roberts, who at the time was a Top 50 recruit from “The Family.”
Williamson’s on board and Detroit just became a suburb of Amherst.