Cobe Williams’ Bull(DOG) Mentality

Saying someone has a “dog mentality” is one of the greatest compliments you can give in the world of sports. To me, the definition of it would be a player who exemplifies a certain toughness that can’t be taught, it’s something that you either have or you don’t. Someone who plays with the heart of a lion and has the mindset that nobody can stop them. The type of player that doesn’t back down from pressure or the big moment. One player that comes to mind that perfectly represents that mentality would be Cobe Williams of Louisiana Tech, which is fitting as he plays for a school with the team name of Bulldogs. 

Williams was a 3 star prospect and the #34 ranked player in the state of Texas for the Class of 2019 coming out of Kimball High School in the Dallas area. Before transferring to Kimball, he led Dallas Can Academy to a Texas charter school State Championship and was the Texas State MVP after putting up gaudy averages of 27 PPG, 8 RPG, and 6 APG. He chose Louisiana Tech over offers from UT Arlington, Texas Southern, Cal State Northridge, Northern Colorado, and multiple other D1 and D2 schools. 

Fast forward to present day, Cobe is one of the toughest players in all of Conference USA, especially on the defensive end of the court. Don’t get me wrong, he can get you 20 points on any given night, but his calling card comes as one of the best perimeter defenders in college basketball. He makes life miserable for opposing guards night in and night out. He is a 2x C-USA All-Defensive Team selection, which is a difficult accolade in a conference that has some of the best guards in college basketball. He is one of only two players that was recognized as a C-USA All-Defender each of the last two seasons. Williams was named a captain for the Bulldogs before last season and went on to average 11.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.2 SPG, while making 46 3-pointers in 2021-22. He led the team in total assists and steals for the season. 

He’s listed at 6’0” on the Bulldogs’ roster, but as they say “it’s heart over height”. He makes up for his size with extreme athleticism and his quick ability to elevate off the floor. Just ask Florida Atlantic’s Vladislav Goldin, who stands at 7’1”, over a foot taller than Williams. Goldin was on the wrong end of the #1 overall play on SportsCenter Top 10 in the beginning of last February, as Cobe came flying down the right side of the lane to posterize the Owls tallest player. 

As one of the top defenders in C-USA, he had the assignment of shadowing the best scorers on a nightly basis; from C-USA POY Jordan “Jelly” Walker of UAB, to 20 PPG scorer Souley Boum from UTEP,  two other 1st Team All-CUSA guys in Tylor Perry (North Texas) and Dayvion McKnight (Western Kentucky), and the list goes on. He wasn’t given any breaks in the non-conference either, as he matched up with Alabama’s trio of guards in Jaden Shackelford, Jahvon Quinerly, and NBA draft pick J.D. Davison, plus the LSU Tigers’ backcourt as well. What I respect the most about Cobe is you never see him take a play off, and he’s clearly the heart and soul of a Bulldogs team that has finished as a top 4 team in Conference USA during each of his 3 seasons.

Louisiana Tech was knocking on the door of an NCAA Tournament berth last season for the first time since 1991, down just 3 points with two minutes to play in the C-USA Championship Game against UAB. During Williams’ 3 seasons with the Bulldogs, they’ve won 70 games; paced by 24 victories in each of the last two seasons. They are also 37-15 in conference play during his time, good for a .712 win percentage. It will be a tough job to replace star big man Kenneth Lofton Jr. and head coach Erik Konkol who both left this offseason, but with Williams back in the fold along with Keaston Willis (12.1 PPG), Isaiah Crawford (11.3 PPG), and David Green (7.2 PPG), they should have more than enough talent to stay toward the top of the C-USA standings. They will once again be a contender come tournament time down in Frisco, TX, which is just 30 minutes from Cobe’s hometown. If he can help lead Louisiana Tech back to the big dance for the first time in 32 years, it will solidify his legacy even more as one of the respected players to come through Ruston, LA.

Author

  • Shea Irish

    Shea is a life-long college basketball fanatic. He has always been passionate about following mid-majors hoops. He's 25 years old and currently resides in Upstate New York. Co-host of the Mental Dimes NCAAM Podcast.

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