Derrick Williams emerged this season not only as a solid collegiate player but a potential NBA lottery pick in his sophomore year. On the back of a stellar season, he’s helped the Arizona Wildcats solidify their return to the nation’s premier list of basketball schools with a return trip to the Sweet Sixteen.
In the Wildcats’ win over Texas in the round of 32, Williams was quiet for most of the first half, but came alive in the second half to show some of the prowess that has made him a draft prospect. Although we haven’t scouted Williams fully, there are some great takeaways from his game that will translate to the next level.
The first is his quickness. Williams moves like a small forward with the ball, or even a slashing style shooting guard. However, at 6’9″, he’s got NBA size and bulk. Although he’s not consistently the kind of player to put the ball on the floor to break down the defender, his agility and athleticism make him a match up nightmare for a plodding big man. He can definitely play facing the basket and looks like he could be extremely effective at the 4 spot.
He will have to use his speed to compete as a power forward in the NBA, but ideally, he needs to develop a mid range shot to be the most effective and make an impact. Right now his game is based on being faster and stronger than most of the players who are guarding him, and he can get a step on them in the lane to put up a shot. He’s a good free throw shooter, averaging 75% for his sophomore year, although he has a tendency to short arm his shot occasionally.
He definitely has the tools to be a starter at the next level, if he could add to his offensive range and continue to work on his ballhandling.
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