Men's Hoops Inks Syracuse Transfer Benny Williams

by Ken Landis

ORLANDO – The UCF men’s basketball team has added transfer forward Benny Williams, as announced by head coach Johnny Dawkins on Wednesday.

“We’re excited to bring Benny to Orlando. He has a great all-around game and takes pride on playing good defense. His leadership and experiences in another power conference will help him and the rest of our guys be prepared for what is coming in our second season in the Big 12.”

Johnny DawkinsUCF Men's Basketball Head Coach

Williams arrives in The City Beautiful after spending three seasons with Syracuse. He recorded a career-high in blocked shots this past season, tallying five games with a pair of blocks en route to a total of 16 on the campaign. Williams played in 18 games for the Orange this past season, shooting an even 40% from the field.

Williams recorded a season-high 15 points against Pitt on Dec. 30, shooting 6-of-10 from the field while pulling in seven rebounds. His career-high in points was also against Pitt, scoring 24 points on the road back on Feb. 25, 2023.

All 18 appearances of his 2023-24 campaign were off the bench under Syracuse’s Adrian Autry, who just completed his first season at the helm of the Orange. Williams earned 24 starts across 30 total games played in Jim Boeheim’s final season piloting Syracuse and flourished in his sophomore campaign. He recorded a career-best 7.2 points per game clip as well as sinking 44.7% of his shots from the floor as well as splashing 39.6% of his three pointers.

Williams was the 15th overall rated recruit in his class according to Rivals.com coming out of IMG Academy in Florida, as well as the 25th overall by 247Sports and 27th by ESPN. He was a five-star recruit in the Class of 2021 and was one of 50 finalists for the Sports Illustrated All-American team.

Before Williams was at IMG Academy, he spent time at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Maryland, not to be confused with Darius Johnson’s Episcopal High in Virginia. Like Johnson, Williams hails from Maryland, claiming his hometown as Bowie while Johnson grew up in Boyds. With both in the DMV area, the two played against each other prior to high school.

Williams is officially the first player to transfer in for the Knights ahead of the 2024-25 season. He will be joined by fellow newcomer Cameron Simpson who will be a 6-7 rookie guard.