Is Derrick Williams the best player to wear an Arizona uniform?by Javier Morales on Apr. 13, 2011, under Sports
Derrick Williams, who announced Wednesday that he will enter the 2011 NBA draft and hire an agent, did not win a national player of the year award like former Arizona standouts Steve Kerr, Sean Elliott, Jason Terry and Jason Gardner.
He was not a consensus first-team All-American like Elliott, Mike Bibby and Damon Stoudamire.
He did not lead the Wildcats to a Final Four appearance like Kerr, Elliott, Stoudamire, Khalid Reeves, Miles Simon, Michael Dickerson, Bibby, Richard Jefferson and Jason Gardner.
Despite all these lack of accolades, some would argue Williams is the best player to wear an Arizona uniform, given his amount of production in only a two-year span. Many NBA scouting analysts agree that Williams will be the first player taken in the draft, becoming the first Wildcat with that distinction.
Bibby was the No. 2 pick in 1998 and Elliott the No. 3 in 1989.
In two seasons, Williams averaged 17.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in 69 career appearances (68 starts). He connected on 58.6 percent of his field goal attempts (388-of-662) in that span, a figure that ranks fourth on the UA career field goal percentage list.
He finished his career with 1,227 career points, which ranks 27th on the UA career scoring list. Williams scored more points in his first two seasons as a Wildcat than any other player in school history. He also is tied for seventh on the Arizona career scoring average list (17.8 points a game).
He is sixth on the career free throws list with 405 and seventh on the career free throw attempts list (563). No player in Arizona history averaged more free throw attempts per game than Williams’ average of 8.2 per game.
Elliott finished with a UA-record 2,555 points in his career, which at the time of his departure after four years was also a Pac-10 record. If Williams stayed and maintained his scoring pace, he would have finished with 2,454 points, challenging Elliott’s mark.
Arguably, in a two-year span Williams is the best to wear an Arizona uniform. How about overall, especially if he is selected as the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft?
That’s highly debatable, especially considering what many NBA scouts believe is a very weak draft.
Williams obviously belongs among the pantheon of Arizona greats, definitely in the top five, in my opinion, with Elliott, Stoudamire, Bibby and Kerr.