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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Williams mum on future, NBA Draft status”

Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team took on the Connecticut Huskies in the NCAA West Region Final on Saturday, March 26, 2011, in the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. At the half, the Huskies lead 32-25.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Derrick Williams could be the No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s NBA Draft.

Scouts love his athletic ability and fans love his Blake Griffin-caliber dunks. National exposure from this NCAA Tournament allowed Williams’ draft stock to soar on the radar of those East Coast hoopsters unable to watch him on a nightly basis.

After Arizona’s loss in the Elite Eight, the media asked him the obligatory question.

He provided the obligatory response.

“”I’m not answering that,”” Williams said softly outside his locker. “”I have school. That’s all I can say.”” lists Williams as the projected No. 1 pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers. and list him as No. 2.

The headline on right now asks: “”Can Derrick Williams add another No. 1 to his résumé in the 2011 NBA draft after taking down Duke?””

But Williams didn’t want to hear it.

“”I want to win a national championship. We came two points shy of a Final Four. Of course I want to win it next year.””

UA coach Sean Miller said after the game he would do what is in Williams’ best interest and support his decision either way.

If Arizona fans want to hang on one strand of hope to see William’s junior season, it’s all on his mother, who has kept him humble and hungry.

At media day last November, Williams said his mother would fly out to Tucson had if she sensed a bad attitude.

“”He talks about it: ‘I better not be cocky to the media or say something too smart because mom might read it and come out here,'”” Jamelle Horne said about Williams relationship with his mother. “”She does not play, for real.””

Ex-Wildcats Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger both left school after their junior years to enter the NBA Draft in 2009. Prior to that, UA freshman Jerryd Bayless (who would be a senior this season) left early for the 2008 Draft.

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