Williams was named tournament most valuable player of the Preseason NIT last November. However, he was accused of hitting Nicole Wilcox during a fight at a bar just off campus in early May, just hours after final exams. A blow caused a cut above Wilcox's right eye that required four stitches to close. He was cleared of assault charges by a city court jury. Before his dismissal, Williams was academically ineligible to play for the Orangemen and had to complete several courses to be able to rejoin the team.
Williams also served a three-game suspension last fall for violating the university's code of conduct. The suspension stemmed from a charge of driving with ability impaired.
Syracuse finished 23-13 this past season and was fourth in the N.I.T. The Oragemen lost leading scorer Preston Shumpert and centers Bill Celuck and Ethan Cole to graduation. Freshman guard Billy Edelin recently successfully petitioned for readmission to Syracuse. He is expected to be an immediate starter. Syracuse landed a strong recruiting class, highlighted by College Basketball News' #2 senior, Carmelo Anthony. They also signed guard Gerry McNamara and forward Matt Gorman.
Iona, who is coached by former NBA standout Jeff Ruland, finished 13-17 last season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.