University of Missouri

Missouri’s Johnathan Williams III will transfer

Missouri forward Johnathan Williams III (right) moved by South Carolina guard Sindarius Thornwell in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on March 11 in Nashville, Tenn.
Missouri forward Johnathan Williams III (right) moved by South Carolina guard Sindarius Thornwell in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on March 11 in Nashville, Tenn. AP

Missouri sophomore forward Johnathan Williams III will transfer from Missouri, a source told The Star.

Williams, who was the Tigers’ leading scorer and rebounder last season, requested a release from his scholarship Tuesday.

Missouri has yet to respond to the reports.

Williams led Missouri in rebounding as a freshman (6.5) and led the Tigers in scoring (11.9) and rebounding (7.1) as a sophomore.

He suffered a partial tear in his meniscus before the season and played most of the season with pain in his right knee.

Williams, a Memphis native who played at Southwind High School, was ranked as the No. 42 player in the class of 2013 by Rivals.

He also tied with freshman Jakeenan Gant and junior Ryan Rosburg for the team lead in blocks, averaging 0.6 per game.

It’s unclear where Williams might land, but he will have to sit out the 2015-16 season if he transfers to another NCAA Division I program.

Williams, who was recruited by former MU associate head coach Tim Fuller, signed with Missouri when Frank Haith was the coach.

He opted to stay with the Tigers when Haith left for Tulsa last April and was replaced by Kim Anderson.

Missouri — which went 9-23 last season, setting school records for most losses in a season and the longest losing streak (13) — announced last week that Fuller would not return next season.

Williams was the most experienced and accomplished player on the Tigers’ roster, but he struggled at times to adjust to the leadership role thrust upon him and with the physical play in the SEC.

Williams’ scoring average dipped to 10.9 in conference games.

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @todpalmer.

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