Friday, January 20, 2017

OFFICIAL: Rich Williams to redshirt for Manhattan

Rich Williams will redshirt for Manhattan in 2016-17 season, as announced following Jaspers' loss to Monmouth Friday. (Photo by Vincent Simone/NYC Buckets)

After nearly three months of deliberation, it is now official.

Manhattan College senior Rich Williams will redshirt, and will miss the rest of the 2016-17 season, head coach Steve Masiello announced in the wake of the Jaspers' 82-71 loss to Monmouth Friday evening.

The story was first reported by Josh Newman, who covers Monmouth and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for the Asbury Park Press. Williams had undergone surgery on November 7 to repair a torn meniscus, and had spent the past few weeks since the procedure recovering and getting back into game shape.

The 6-foot-5 wing from Brooklyn, who was a second team preseason all-MAAC honoree this year, was described as "full-go" ten days ago after Manhattan earned their first conference win against Niagara, but after Masiello's conversations with both Williams and athletic director Marianne Reilly, it was decided that an extended rehabilitation period would be in his best interest. The decision to redshirt is similar to that of George Beamon, who took a medical redshirt in 2012-13 following a severe ankle sprain, and returned to lead the Jaspers to a MAAC championship the following year.

Williams averaged a career-best 14.8 points per game in the 2015-16 season, and will be one of many senior leaders in Riverdale should he choose to remain in the program and not transfer anywhere else as a fifth-year senior. Currently projected to lose only Tyler Wilson and walk-on Sky Williams going into 2017-18, Manhattan could conceivably be among the top tier of MAAC teams next season.

More information will be posted on this story as it becomes available.

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