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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Going home to LA

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Nic Wise iced the game in double-overtime with a layup with just over one second left to beat the USC Trojans 86-84 Saturday in McKale Center. It was Senior Day for the Cats as Nic Wise played his last game in McKale.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat Nic Wise iced the game in double-overtime with a layup with just over one second left to beat the USC Trojans 86-84 Saturday in McKale Center. It was Senior Day for the ‘Cats as Nic Wise played his last game in McKale.

Growing up in Los Angeles, forward Derrick Williams always dreamed of playing at Staples Center, home of the Clippers and the Lakers. On Thursday, about 30 to 40 of his family members and friends will watch him play in the arena for the Pacific 10 Conference Tournament.

“”I think its real cool, coming from LA area where the Staples Center is the biggest arena,”” Williams said. “”Everybody wants to see a Lakers game and Staples Center is real nice. It’s a huge thing for us LA dudes. I never played there before so it’s going to be real exciting.””

But a lot of Williams’ friends and family hope that Arizona can win and advance to the Friday game because they will be unable to make the tip-off at noon on Thursday, Williams said.

It’s been an unforgettable week for Williams, who was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year on Monday. Williams was the only freshman to be selected for All-Pac-10 honors and was also named to the Sporting News All-Freshman team.

“”I think personally it’s a huge accomplishment for me and my family and all the people who believed in me from the beginning,”” he said. “”I just had to show what I could do.””

Williams is the least-heralded recruit of all the members of the Sporting News’ all-freshman team, which includes John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Xavier Henry and Derrick Favors. 

In fact, the same was true of Williams among the five freshmen on Arizona’s roster this season.

“”So much is made about how many stars are next to your name, what camps you were invited to and are you an All-American,”” said head coach Sean Miller. “”When you look at the greatest players that have ever played here, there are so many that weren’t as highly rated or regarded coming out of high school.

“”He’s far exceeded a lot of our expectations and I’m sure his own,”” he added.

Though Williams didn’t expect to play his current role, he still looks back at those rankings from high school.

“”Especially coming out of my junior year and senior year not being ranked in the top 150 in rivals; that was a big surprise to me,”” Williams said. “”Just showing what I can do this year kind of proved a lot of people wrong.””

Parrom may return in limited role

Last week Miller said he thought freshman Kevin Parrom would have to surprise him in his progress if Parrom was to play after missing four games with an unspecified injury to his foot.

Miller said on Tuesday he expected Parrom to possibly see limited action because his progress has been as expected: nothing drastic.

“”We’re optimistic that Kevin (Parrom) will be available for the game, dressed and ready to play,”” Miller said. “”How effective I’m not sure, but he’s making progress, but he’s not 100 percent.””

Miller also added that Parrom would get an opportunity to play but definitely ruled out starting him on Thursday.

“”I don’t want to make too much of it because Kevin (Parrom) may only play five minutes against UCLA,”” Miller said.

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