Is Derrick Williams ready to lead the Wildcats?by Anthony Gimino on Apr. 13, 2010, under Sports
The Arizona basketball team loses senior guard Nic Wise and senior-to-be Jamelle Horne has his own issues to figure out, so who is going to provide leadership on next year’s team?
Paging Derrick Williams …
“Every team that I have been a part of, your best players are your leaders,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “I’ll use Butler as an example. You can’t tell me that Gordon Hayward isn’t their team leader. He’s a sophomore.”
Which is what Williams will be next season.
After averaging team-bests with 15.7 points and 7.1 rebounds, his role will become bigger and more important.
“As you look toward next year’s team, a guy like Derrick Williams clearly has a big responsibility, going from a freshman to a sophomore,” Miller said.
“But part of him being a sophomore is he’s going to have to have a big voice. He’s going to have to carry the torch daily. People on our team are going to really look to him — and some others — to lead them.”
The team’s upperclassmen will be Horne, junior guard Kyle Fogg, junior guard Brandon Lavender, redshirt junior center Alex Jacobson and junior college transfer Jesse Perry, who is expected to sign Wednesday at the beginning of the spring signing period.
Williams was on The Sporting News’ All-Freshman Team, along with guard John Wall and center DeMarcus Cousins of Kentucky, guard Xavier Henry of Kansas and forward Derrick Favors of Georgia Tech. Everyone except Williams has entered the NBA Draft.