Snub? No first-team AP All-American honors for Derrick Williamsby Anthony Gimino on Mar. 28, 2011, under Arizona basketball
Arizona Wildcats sophomore Derrick Williams was selected a second-team AP All-American on Monday, and I’m guessing the reaction of Wildcats fan is, “What?!”
Followed by words that we translate onto the internet as @#^%&!
Williams’ made a first-team All-American kind of statement with a spectacular NCAA Tournament — which came after winning Pac-10 Player of the Year honors, which came despite playing several weeks with a hand/finger injury.
Here’s the thing: Voting was done before the NCAA Tournament.
And as Arizona coach Sean Miller said Friday at a press conference in Anaheim, Calif., as his team prepared to play in the West regional final, some of the college basketball world was late to wake up to Williams’ wonderful season.
“If you’re asking me do I think Derrick got as much notoriety at this as he deserved? No,” Miller said in response to a question about perceived East Coast bias.
“And it’s not as if he’s a great player on a team that won 15 or 16 games. It’s taken to this round of the NCAA Tournament for everybody to acknowledge that he’s a special player.”
The AP first-team All-Americans were selected by the 65 voters in the weekly AP poll. Here are the five players chose, in descending order of point totals in balloting: Jimmer Fredette of BYU, Nolan Smith of Duke, Jared Sullinger of Ohio State, Kemba Walker of UConn and JaJuan Johnson of Purdue.
The second-team, again in descending order, is: Marcus Morris of Kansas, Williams, Ben Hansbrough of Notre Dame, Jordan Taylor of Wisconsin and Kawhi Leonard of San Diego State.
Fourteen of the 65 voters had Williams on their first-team ballot.
Williams finished the season with averages of 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds. He made 74.6 percent of his 331 free throw attempts, which leads the nation and is a school record. He made 59.3 percent of his field goal attempts, including a stunning 42 of his 74 3-point shots (56.8 percent).