Promising exciting basketball and a team "ready to play every game," Gary Williams accepted the head basketball coaching duties at American University yesterday.

Williams, 33, becomes the school's 14th head coach, replacing Jim Lynam, who moved to St. Joseph's College after a 70-61 five-year stint.

"This is a good situation," said the former University of Maryland captain who comes to AU after seven years as an assistant collegiate coach, first at Lafayette and for the past year at Boston College.

"I feel I will be comfortale here and enjoy the job and I hope it will be equally good for American University."

"Lafayette was strong academically and American's academic standards appeal to me. Hopefully, I'll be able to get not only the outstanding basketball player, but also the good student."

Most of the squad, 16-12 last year, will return, including freshman stand-out Boo Bowers (16.9 points per game).

"We'll play a little more pressure defense," explained Williams." And we'll look to run on offense. I'll stress role playing. Whatever we do it will be with a team feeling.

"I hope to have a one-on-one situation with each of the players so he knows me and I can get to know him," said Williams," By Oct. 15 we'll be ready to go."

For recruiting, Williams "hopes to get involved with the local players. With the contacts I have from going to school in the area and the high school coaches I know, I hope to become involved with some local players."

No contract figures were announded although Athletic Director Bob Frailey said he gives any coach he hires "at least three years" to develope his program.

"We haven't even talked contract," said Frailey. "We've shaken hands and said let's go."