UPDATE: Van Pelt says he talked to Williams and that the story and quote is inacurrate.
I was down at the Verizon Center on Tuesday to check out Jordan Williams as he worked out for the Washington Wizards. Williams spoke to the assembled media for a while, then did a couple separate interviews with other publications. In one of those interviews, Williams had a surprising admission, telling Steve Yanda of the Washington Post that ESPN's Scott Van Pelt, of all people, was a "big factor" in helping him make his decision to ultimately leave the Terps early and declare for the 2011 NBA Draft.
"Just giving me feedback, what he thought about it. Just trying to make me make the right decision. He did a great job, and I give him a lot of credit for going out of his way.
"He's a really busy guy, so for him to go out of his way to do that is unbelievable."
Van Pelt is a Maryland alum and very much involved following the program, but that's not the first name I expected to hear. Apparently, Van Pelt was a little off guard too, tweeting that he had "nothing to do" with Williams' decision. Well then.
For what it's worth, here's what Williams told everyone else when asked about why he decided to go pro now.
"I didn't sign an agent, so I was going to work hard and come back to school to play at Maryland. That was my goal the whole time" Williams said. "What happened was, my confidence built up, and I felt myself making rapid changes right away. I felt it was my time to go."