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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Should Williams go pro?


Pro: Williams should take talents to NBA

Nowadays, the first sources of finding out news is either Facebook or Twitter, before you head to your favorite website to read the details.

When sophomore Derrick Williams made it to’s No. 1 overall pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers last Thursday, Twitter was my source.

It went like this;

One of a few Arizona basketball fans I follow, @Dfresh4u, tweeted “”Damn has D.Will going #1 overall.””

My immediate response was to retweet it and tweet this:

“”After seeing @dfresh4u’s tweet I took a look at the & realized how weak the 2011 NBA draft will be. No way D-Will comes back.””

With 12 guaranteed games, Arizona basketball fans might as well make their “”Thanks D-Will, Good luck in the NBA”” signs. There is no way Williams comes back to Arizona next season, nor should he.

Sure, mock draft websites can be as accurate as gossip magazines at grocery store checkout lines, but it’s evident that Williams is on the radar of NBA scouts. When Arizona took on Kansas in Las Vegas, NBA scouts showed up in bunches to see Williams against Kansas’ Morris twins.

In this one–and-done generation, Williams better strike while the iron’s hot.

If Williams is ever struggling to decide whether to enter the draft, which is unlikely, he should give former Wildcat Chase Budinger a call and ask him for advice.

Budinger was on NBA scouts’ radar coming into college but every year he stayed in college his draft stock got worse and worse. Budinger ended up being a second-round pick instead of the lottery pick he would have been chosen with had he left after his freshman year.

Even if Williams has a few flaws in his game, there is a general manager who will draft him based on his potential.

Nowadays, if a player reaches his junior or senior season scouts begin to question whether they’re really that good or they would have left school early.

At this point Williams’ draft stock won’t get any better with another year, so why risk it?

It’s a dream that Williams has probably had his entire life, plus what college student wouldn’t skip college classes to make millions?

So after the season is done, expect @bigdthatsme23 to tweet:

“”I’m taking my talents to the NBA””

— Vince Balistreri is a communication senior. He can be reached at

Con: School is cool

Arizona forward Derrick Williams doesn’t want to be in the same position as Adam Sandler’s character, Billy Madison, a 20-something screw-up who realizes he should have taken his education seriously. While Williams’ education is on the basketball court, one more year of discipline could do him a world of good.

Not that Williams wouldn’t make it eventually, but there’s so much riding on another year of college. He’s currently ranked No. 1 on’s 2011 mock board, but lottery pick or not, Williams has much to add to his game.

Defensively, Williams could use more one-on-one time with head coach Sean Miller, who has been open about wanting the Wildcats’ leader to be just as good on defense as he is on offense. Sports Illustrated recently wrote a story saying exactly that about Arizona’s star sophomore.

After all, Williams wouldn’t want to be another case of Amar’e Stoudemire, another face-up power forward who is second in the NBA in scoring yet couldn’t defend Betty White in a Snickers commercial. Stoudemire skipped college altogether and admitted that he’s never been taught defense.

Even offensively, Williams could use another year to put some more moves into his game. He scores so much from his pure quickness — a jab-step and pump fake before he blows past a defender — but that will be more difficult against NBA big men.

And if anything, Williams could definitely benefit from playing on a team with much more experience and more talent when a strong recruiting class comes in next season.

An NCAA Tournament run looks almost guaranteed next year if Williams returns, and a strong performance in it would be a sure-fire way to go in the top five picks if Williams played his junior year at Arizona.

So now rather than later, Williams should be singing a similar tune to Billy Madison’s infamous bus stop song.

“”Back to school, back to school, to show the NBA that I’m not a fool.””

— Kevin Zimmerman is a journalism senior. He can be reached at

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