Can Ashton Williamson be the Arturo Dean replacement?

Ashton Williamson was ranked the eighth best guard in the state of Indiana by 247Sports. Photo courtesy of Eric Bossi | 247Sports.

By Brandon Gonzalez | Contributing Writer

Guard Ashton Williamson announced his commitment to play for Coach Jeremy Ballard and the Panthers in the upcoming 2024-2025 season on X on May 28, 2024. 

This comes after spending a post-graduate year at Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kansas.

Williamson, originally from Indiana, played for two years at Calumet New Tech High School in Illinois before transferring to 21st Century Charter School for the rest of his high school career. 

Ranked as the eighth best guard in the state of Indiana by 247Sports, Williamson has received plenty of attention from scouts for his play. 

During Williamson’s last season at 21st Century, he averaged 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 9.4 assists along with 3.3 steals and 0.8 blocks per game as a starter.

On the court he was everywhere, impacting the game with his agility and footwork. 

At 6-4, 165-pounds, his size may initially lead you to believe he prioritizes finesse over a more physical style with the ball in his hands. But Williamson plays with a ferocity and intensity few can match, and regularly would fight through contact to make a play at the rim. 

Efficiency wise, Williamson stands out. During his final year with the Cougars he made a remarkable 57% of his shots from the field. These shots came from all over the court as well, being unafraid to pull up from deep with a 3-pointer if he needed to. 

Hounding opposing guards on defense was all too common for him, as he regularly forced mistakes and turnovers to give his team more chances with the ball. He led his team in both steals and total steals, with 3.3 steals per game and 95 total steals respectively.

Williamson will hopefully be the Panthers replacement for Arturo Dean, a fellow two-way guard who recently transferred to Oklahoma State. 

While Dean’s production will be missed, it may soon be forgotten if Williamson is ready to step into a central role for the Panthers come this fall. 

Williamson’s natural athleticism adds to his tremendous talent and could be what FIU has been looking for: a true lead man for a program looking for its next star.

Follow Brandon Gonzalez on X: @BGonzalezLons

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