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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Should Marcus Williams enter the NBA draft?

    Arizona freshman forward Marcus Williams grabs the ball from UCLA freshman forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute during the first half of Arizonas 71-59 Pacific 10 Conference Tournament semifinal loss to UCLA March 10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.  Williams is expected to announce his decision on whether he will enter the NBA draft tomorrow.
    Arizona freshman forward Marcus Williams grabs the ball from UCLA freshman forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute during the first half of Arizona’s 71-59 Pacific 10 Conference Tournament semifinal loss to UCLA March 10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Williams is expected to announce his decision on whether he will enter the NBA draft tomorrow.

    There’s little point to Marcus pulling out early

    If you are like me, and you’ve come to the conclusion that freshman forward Marcus Williams will be exiting Tucson faster than Afro Man did from the rap scene, you must be scratching your head.

    Oh, what will happen to poor Williams after he affixes an NBA franchise hat to his head, shakes hands with NBA commissioner David Stern and falls into the pool of “”college kids that jumped too early.””

    (Note: I refuse to use any analogy comparing Williams to the likes of Ndudi Ebi, the highly touted prospect who jumped Arizona head coach Lute Olson’s ship for an NBA career spent tying Kevin Garnett’s shoes and helping gel Wally Szczerbiak’s hair before being released by the Timberwolves Nov. 1.)

    Disregarding Williams’ need for more talent development at the college level, looking at past Wildcats who have made their mark in the NBA should be telling information in itself.

    Guards Gilbert Arenas, Mike Bibby, Jason Terry, Steve Kerr, Damon Stoudamire and Salim Stoudamire, forwards Sean Elliott, Andre Iguodala and Luke Walton and center Channing Frye all have something in common – they all stayed past their freshman year.

    With Williams, a couple of things need to happen before he jumps.

    First, he needs to get quicker – plain and simple.

    He can be a matchup problem for smaller players in the pros, but when he gets set for his shot, it still needs to be a quicker movement, something Olson addressed at the end of the season.

    If he stayed a summer in Tucson and worked his butt off (like all the coaches know he would do) on catching and releasing the ball quicker, it would be more beneficial than going late in the first round and being herded around with all the other NBA rookies.

    Also, with the possibility of junior point guard Mustafa Shakur heading for the big bucks, Williams would be able to play some point guard next year, giving him the ability to play a familiar position and also become better at defending the smaller guards.

    Nobody can knock the fact that Williams will be a great pro, but all I can think about after typing that sentence is the scene from “”Good Will Hunting”” when Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) and Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard) are talking about Will Hunting (Matt Damon) at the bar over sandwiches and compare him to Ted Kaczynski, whose talent took the road south.

    Williams could be something special next year at Arizona and in the future in the NBA.

    He could add weight, improve his quickness, improve the rotation on his jump shot and become one of the best players to ever come out of Arizona.

    Or, he could become Ndudi Ebi (damn, I slipped).

    Shane Bacon
    staff writer

    Runaway train of Marcus Mania headed to NBA

    First and foremost, let me make two practically factual points:

    1. Freshman forward Marcus Williams would improve with another year at Arizona.

    2. Arizona is a better team with Marcus Williams.

    What most Arizona fans don’t want to hear, however, is that Marcus Williams is ready for the NBA right now, and it looks like he’ll be gone quicker than Vito from New Jersey. If Williams changed his mind over a span of a few days, it probably means that some NBA squad has guaranteed him a spot in the top 20. Just a theory.

    Williams is the prototypical NBA wing player with all the tools to make himself a solid NBA mainstay for years to come. His athleticism may not be through the roof, but his valuable skill set and versatility are not worse than any of the other wings in the draft.

    His passing ability and court vision for a 6-foot-7 man is extraordinary, Çÿ la former Duke star forward Grant Hill. Remember, Williams played the point guard position in high school and has no qualms about bringing the ball up.

    Defensively, he can guard five college positions and three NBA positions – from the point guard to the small forward in the NBA

    Should he stay or go?

    The exhiliration of draft day will quickly fade away to bench- warming and free agency.
    He could spend an extra year working on a better shot release.

    Williams has NBA-caliber talent that will secure him good money.
    He’s cut from the coveted
    wingman cloth and able to match up well with the NBA’s elite.p>

    and even power forward and center in college. Against Michigan State at the beginning of the season in the Maui Invitational, Williams knocked around, stayed with and outplayed Spartans point guard Drew Neitzel.

    Although he may not look strong, Williams has sneaky strength. Did you see him get out-muscled by anyone this season?

    His aggressiveness and ability to finish around the basket makes up for the fact that he still needs to gain at least 20 pounds of muscle.

    He’s 19 years old! Gaining muscle will not be a problem and can be accomplished in one summer.

    He already weighs 205 pounds, so he’s not exactly a stick. I haven’t heard anyone question Adam Morrison’s strength, and he’s not exactly Hulk Hogan or even Nick Hogan.

    Williams said Sunday that money was not an issue in his decision but rather the opportunity to play at the next level was the enticing factor. Whether you want to take him at his word or not, the salary structure in the NBA means Williams will be able to enter the big “”money-making phase”” earlier.

    Some may say Williams could use another year of seasoning. Sure, Arizona head coach Lute Olson and co. would help him tremendously, but NBA coaches are there to do the same thing, and last time I checked, you have to know what you’re doing to coach an NBA team.

    (Disregard Isaiah Thomas’ job with the Pacers or Alvin Gentry with the Clippers.)

    Plus, he’ll have more time to work on his game in the NBA without having to bother himself with school. If that degree is so important, he can always come back and finish his course work during the offseason or through correspondence courses.

    Let’s not kid ourselves, Williams’ stint at Arizona was about preparing himself for the NBA. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, Williams’ developed faster than anyone had imagined.

    Roman Veytsman
    staff writer

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