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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Sir Williams

People ask me this all the time. You’ve heard it too.

“”What are you doing after you graduate?””

Most reply with:

“”The (bleep) if I know.””

Everybody wants to know the next big thing. It’s wired into our wireless culture.

Who’s going to make the next $1 million? Who’s our next president? Who’s the next Michael Jordan? Who’s the next LeBron James? Who’s the next Charlie Sheen?

You wonder about this Arizona basketball program.

Who’s the next big recruit? When can they make a Final Four run? Will Derrick Williams go to the NBA Draft?

That last one is asked a lot lately.

Williams is an NBA Draft lottery lock and all the humble kid can do is shrug off those questions and continue to salute the ZonaZoo after SportsCenter Top 10-caliber dunks.

Amidst one of those physics-defying dunks against UCLA, the Daily Bruin tweeted this:

“”U of A fans seem to think that bowing to Williams will make him stick around. He’s as good as gone given this year’s draft dearth (sic).””

Now that’s probably the case of homer beat writers on a college newspaper — they do exist some places not as talented as here — but it got me thinking: Why can’t fans just enjoy Williams for what he’s doing right now?

In a culture so fixated on knowing tomorrow’s trending topic on Twitter, it’s too easy not to enjoy Williams for his face value.

For those in McKale Center at the UCLA game, you felt the accumulation of chills unleash after every dunk and ensuing roar of joy.

A rubberband alley-oops jam. A sledgehammer into the rim. A 360-degree pivot then two-handed jam. All of them infused adrenaline into McKale Center.

For those in McKale at the Southern California game, you saw an athlete fight through foul trouble and a pinky injury to still lead the Wildcats in scoring.

He dropped 20 points on a bad night.

He’s the complete opposite of soft.

(As USC’s Nikola Vucevic would say, Williams doesn’t “”play like a woman.””)

He’s the complete definition of hustle.

“”We thought he was going to be a little bit slower because of his hand so the rest of us would have to step up. But luckily, Derrick was still Derrick,”” UA guard Kyle Fogg said Saturday. “”It didn’t slow him down at all. It actually worked out in our favor because Derrick was playing well and the rest of us had that attacking mentality.””

As of Sunday morning, lists him as the No. 2 overall pick behind Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, giving the Timberwolves a stacked frontcourt of ex-UCLA stud Kevin Love and Williams.

Williams would certainly earn a pretty penny and avoid the risk of injury that a junior season at Arizona could entail.

And someday it might be Blake Griffin  who’s “”pulling a Derrick Williams”” in reference to dunks that have no regard for human life.

But for now, it’s hard not to enjoy the attitude and demeanor Williams brings every night. There’s something authentic about his humbled approach.

There’s something authentic about his willingness to win.

Will Williams leave college early for the NBA Draft?

The (bleep) if I know.

The (bleep) if you should care right now.

— Bryan Roy is an interdisciplinary studies senior. He can be reached at

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