UA’s Williams a “monster” in loss to UNLVby Steve Rivera on Dec. 03, 2009, under Sports
Coaches at the college level and beyond aren’t known for waxing poetic on a player, although they do at times about an opponent or two.
Include Nevada-Las Vegas’ Lon Kruger when it comes to Arizona freshman Derrick Williams. In a word, Kruger called Williams a “monster.” In fact, Williams was against the Rebels in their 74-72 double overtime win against Arizona.
“Every time we seemed to need a stop he got an and-one (opportunity),” Kruger said. It felt that way because it was that way. Williams was huge in part because he had to be. No one else could score with the same consistency. Williams finished with a career-high 28 points, hitting 10 of 15 shots. He did go just 8 for 12 from the free throw line.
He is human after all. As I watch him, you see that his numbers aren’t quiet numbers. He earns everything. He’s not flashy. He’s not emotionally crazy on the court. He just does his job. He’s workmanlike.
“I was really proud of Derrick Williams,” said UA coach Sean Miller. “For a freshman doing a couple of (big) things he’s done in his career …”
Then, Miller mused – or maybe quipped (it’s still hard to determine when he’s being funny or being serious) – he wonders what it would be like if Williams hadn’t decided to come to Arizona after deciding against Southern California. The obvious answer is: painful. Williams is a star in the making. He’s already a star now in part because UA is so thin with talent. Admit it, the Cats aren’t. Hell, Miller used just eight players in a 50-minute game.
“Glad he’s a part of what we do,” Miller said. “He’s a talented player.”
Arizona needs more like him. We’ll see if Miller can find them. In the meantime, Williams is going to get better – even in painful defeat.
“I take some of the blame, too,” Williams said, strangely. “I should have a little more defense.”
He did plenty and it looks like he’ll be called on to do it a number more times in the near future.
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