Commentary

All eyes on Derrick Williams

The Arizona Wildcats star should put on a show in the NCAA tournament

Originally Published: March 10, 2011
By Matt Giles | ESPN Insider
Derrick WilliamsChris Morrison/US PresswireDerrick Williams could be a top-5 pick in next year's NBA draft after his play this year.

Ever want a way to compare every player in college basketball? John Hollinger has your answer. With his college player efficiency ratings (PER), we can evaluate the productivity of Division I hoopsters from Syracuse to Siena to see who's really helping his team the most.

Here's the key difference between Hollinger's NBA PER and the college PER: The vastly different schedules of college teams have an impact. To address this, we've broken down Division I schools into three sections: high majors (teams that play in a major conference or against elite nonconference programs, such as the Gonzaga Bulldogs), mid-majors (teams from conferences that are usually in the running for at least one at-large NCAA tournament bid) and low majors (teams from conferences that traditionally earn only an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament).

With the NCAA tournament nearly upon us, it seemed like a good time to study the high-major studs on tournament-bound teams to single out some interesting statistical notes on players who promise to be prime-time performers in the Big Dance.

Derrick Williams, Arizona

For the Pac-10 in 2011, "changeup" has been a multisport term. Oregon State ditched its normally contemplative style of offense (per Ken Pomeroy, 62.5 possessions) in favor of a much faster paced flow (70.2). Under second-year coach Ken Bone, Washington State dabbled with a zone defense, and UCLA decided to return to its man-to-man defensive ways. But arguably, no team tinkered with the elements of its offense as much as Arizona. The Wildcats lost a key piece of their 2010 squad (Nic Wise), and coach Sean Miller made some changes to Zona's O -- fewer isolation plays and more spot-up jumpers.


For the full breakdown on players to watch, as well as updates on Derrick Williams, Jared Sullinger, Terrence Jones and more, you need to be an Insider.