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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Catching up with ex-Wildcat Marcus Williams

    Marcus Williams
    Marcus Williams

    Arizona Cactus Classic

    Former Arizona men’s basketball player Marcus Williams was in McKale Center Saturday morning to check out the Arizona Cactus Classic. The forward, who went to the NBA after his sophomore season last June, was picked 32nd overall by the San Antonio Spurs in last year’s draft. He appeared in seven preseason games with the Spurs and averaged 3.3 points and 2.6 rebounds before being sent to the NBA Development League on Oct. 27. Williams resigned with the Spurs on Dec. 26 and played a game with them before being waved on Dec. 29. He signed with the Los Angeles Clippers on March 28 and played in 10 games, averaging 1 point per game over 3.4 minutes per game.

    The Arizona Daily Wildcat caught up with Williams to talk about his ups and downs in the NBA, Arizona’s coaching situation and his advice for Jerryd Bayless and Chase Budinger.

    Daily Wildcat How long are you here?

    Williams I’m here until Sunday.

    DW You’re just hanging out?

    W I’m just chilling, man. I brought my brother up here and my friends. So, we just came up here to relax. My AAU team is playing, Seattle Rotary. That’s who I played for.

    DW They’ve got (2009 Arizona recruit) Peyton Siva.

    W They’ve got Peyton and some other good players. They’re a good team.

    DW How’s your first year away from the U of A been?

    W It’s been good. It’s been up and down, man, as most people know. But it’s been a good learning experience. I mean, rather than looking at it as a bad experience, I’m looking at it as a growing experience. You had your highs, your lows and now, if something good happens to me next season I’ll know how to deal with it. And if there’s a mental struggle, I’ll be able to deal with that also.

    DW Do you think it was worth it leaving early?

    W Man, it was definitely worth it leaving early. That was a decision I’m comfortable with making to this day. I’m not one of those people that looks back and is like, “”I shouldn’t have done that.”” I just felt like it was my team to leave. It’s just what I wanted to do. There’s no regrets.

    DW What have you learned at the next level?

    W Honestly, the biggest thing in the NBA is finding a niche. What do you do great? Or what can you bring to the table for a team right now? You have to make them really need you on the floor. From there on, you can grow as a player.

    DW Is there any certain player that you’ve gone under their wing and he’s helped you out?

    W (Corey) Maggette has been real good. You know, once I got with the Clippers, he really took me in and helped me run through the plays. I was there for such a short time and they had been working on the plays for a long time. Obviously with the Spurs, Timmy (Duncan) and Manu (Ginobili), you know, Mike Finley. Those guys. I’ve definitely gotten some tutelage from people from everywhere.

    DW Do you still keep in touch with (UA head coach) Lute Olson or any of the other coaches?

    W Honestly, I haven’t talked to them too much. But I keep in touch with the players. Fendi (Onobun) and Nic (Wise) and Jawann (McClellan). I called Coach (Olson) a few times, but not on a regular basis. I talked to (assistant coach) Miles. He hit me up with a text. But he’s not coaching anymore.

    DW What do you think about that? He’s gone. Josh Pastner is gone. Kevin O’Neill is gone.

    W Yeah, I know. I’m not in charge of that so I really don’t know. It is different, definitely. They felt like they needed to make some changes so they did. Hopefully it’s for the best. I was cool with both of those coaches, Miles and Josh. Hopefully they can succeed in whatever their new endeavors are.

    DW Having gone through the NBA draft process, what do you think about Jerryd Bayless and maybe Chase Budinger going through the same thing?

    W I think they both bring something different to the table, which is gonna be good. Obviously, Jerryd is an explosive scorer. He likes to go to the basket. He likes the contact. I think he’ll fit in really well. The thing with both guys – and any guy going into the NBA – is finding a team, and obviously you can’ choose, but going to a team that fits your needs. And you’ve got to be able to learn, be a sponge, take in what the NBA guys tell you. They’re not in the NBA for no reason. They’ve paid their dues and they know how to get the job done.

    DW Who’s going to win the NBA Finals this year?

    W I think the Lakers have a really good chance. Them or Boston.

    – Interview by Lance Madden

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