After narrowing it down to three schools last spring (Miami-OH, Penn State, and Central Florida), then Middletown (OH) senior Bill Edwards, Jr. had decided to spend the next four years with Penn State. He also had offers at one point or another from Oklahoma State, Miami-Fl, Massachusetts (with then Coach Travis Ford), Texas Christian, Wright State, Dayton, and possibly Michigan.
At the time during an emotional press conference, Edwards said it came down to the PSU and the Miami RedHawks. He tried PSU for a year, and now is ready to transfer back home to Miami.
Edwards will have to sit out for a year under NCAA transfer rules. He will be a sophomore when he become eligible during the 2011-12 season.
The past year at PSU, although he battled a knee injury, Edwards averaged 4.2 points (2nd among PSU’s 6 freshmen Tim Frazier’s 5.0), 3.3 rebounds (frosh leader), and 16 minutes per game (2nd behind Frazier’s 18.4). He shot 35% from the field, 28% from behind the arc, and 81% from the line. He also had 5 starts for the Nittany Lions.
As a senior, Edwards was named Greater Miami Conference (GMC) co-player of the year which he shared with current RedHawk Orlando Williams (Edwards was sole recipient after his junior year), 1st team All-Ohio, 1st team All-Cincinnati, and had been named two time Hamilton Journal Butler County player of the year.
Edwards' shooting percentages his senior year were 50.6% from the field (GMC #6), 40.5% from behind the arc(#7), 76.5% from the line (#4). Edwards per game averages were also in the GMC Top 10 in every statistical category. The averages in just 25.1 minutes a game were 17.4 points (#4), 4.8 assists (#1), 1.7 steals (#9), 0.8 blocks (#6), and 9.3 rebounds (#1).
Edwards (6’5”, 225 lbs) had been a prime target of Miami for years. Edwards is one of the top three or four most highly touted players in Ohio and is the top ranked wing forward.
Edwards comes from a strong basketball pedigree as his mother Glenetta Edwards was a four year star at Monroe (OH) High School and Sinclair Community College. His father, Bill Edwards, Sr., had his number retired at Wright State, played in the NBA, and represented his country with Team USA’s “dream team” at the 1998 FIBA World Championships.
Greg Brown has coached Edwards in AAU since the fourth grade. When Brown spoke with RedHawk Insider in the Fall of 2008, he gave Edwards the highest praise, “I really do think Bill is the best player in Ohio.”
Brown added that Edwards could play every position but center, even in college. Brown said Edwards is strong and athletic enough to rebound in the paint, but is a good enough ball handler to take the ball up the court. Brown added that on the perimeter, he creates mismatches with his skills and size.
Finally, Brown noted that Edwards is an intelligent player who does not feel the need to be the leading scorer every game. Brown said Edwards is a great passer who does not care who scores the points.
With Edwards, Roberts, and the other All-Ohio Force members buying into Brown’s team oriented coaching, something often lacking in AAU ball, the Force has been a dominant player in Ohio summer basketball for years. Last July, the squad won Adidas’ premier national tournament, the Adidas Take 5 Classic in Cincinnati.
Middletown High School Coach Bob Ronai noted that Miami and Penn State had been schools recruiting him the longest and hardest. “Like Miami, Penn State offered and constantly call. They have been recruiting him a long time.”
With so many schools interested in Edwards, Coach Ronai’s advice to Edwards was to choose a school where he felt comfortable with the setting. Ronai added, “I said, ‘You are going to the school and no one else so you do what feels right.’”
It may have taken another year, but Edwards believes he finally found the schools the feels right.
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