Washington Basketball: Arizona Players To Watch Beyond Derrick Williams

It's already been pretty well established that Arizona forward Derrick Williams is good.

Washington Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar briefly summarized how good he is at, well, everything.

"He's shooting 70% from the three point stripe, he can put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket," said Romar. "He's very, very good at drawing fouls. We know how athletic he is, period, but around the rim he's so explosive. He's just a tough cover and they go to him quite a bit."

As often as Williams shoots - consuming about 27 percent of the possessions while on the floor - his scoring efficiency is absolutely remarkable. And that frequency with which he shoots also puts his ability to get to the line in perspective - he has actually attempted more free throws than field goals this season, which is almost unheard of for someone who shoots as often as he does.

We could obviously all go on about Williams. But as it turns out, he also has teammates.


Derrick Williams Post Game 1-15-11 by Arizona Athletics (via ArizonaAthletics)

However, finding consistent production from other players has been something of a sticking point for the Wildcats, according to SBN's Arizona site Arizona Desert Swarm.

Arizona Wildcats to face off with Washington Huskies in measuring stick game. - Arizona Desert Swarm
Close wins could become close losses in a heartbeat if Arizona doesn't find some more consistent play from players not named Derrick Williams. I'm looking at you, Momo Jones.

Yet beyond Lamont Jones, Romar noted the play of Arizona's ball handlers.

"That'd be the main matchup, but then they have really good quickness," said Romar. "They have multiple ball handlers - they don't just have one guy that gets them into their offense. They have several guys who can come in and initiate offense and bring the ball in transition. They can really take advantage of some matchup deficiencies that you might have."

Key players:

Kevin Parrom, G/F (6-foot-6, 205, So.)

One thing that's particularly interesting about this team is that two of their most efficient distributors actually come off of the bench - in Parrom and freshman Jordin Mayes. While neither player is going to come on the floor and just light someone up, Parrom in particular does offer the team quite a bit of the bench. His nearly 40 percent three point shooting and ability to get to the free throw line at a reasonable rate actually make him the third most efficient rotation scorer on the team behind WIlliams and senior forward Jamelle Horne, even though he's not going to come out and shoot a whole lot of shots.

During conference play, Parrom's 57.1 percent field goal shooting is ranked either in the Pac-10 and his 50 percent 3-point shooting in Pac-10 play has him at fourth in the conference. So in addition to coming out and being an efficient distributor, he's also been an efficient scoring threat.

Solomon Hill, F (6-foot-6, 230, So.)

Hill is another reason why Arizona leads the conference in field goal percentage at 48.7 percent for the 2010-11 season - he comes in right behind Parrom as a fourth very efficient scorer in the rotation. His ability to get to the free throw line at a high rate - though not nearly as high as Williams - and hit 77 percent (eighth in the Pac-10 in 2010-11) is also important.

Key statistical battleground: turnovers

However, despite all that Arizona has going for them with the multiple points of attack that Romar talked about, they have struggled with turnovers all season and particularly in conference play.

During conference play, Arizona has a -4.8 turnover margin, which is ninth in the conference. Washington's turnover margin isn't a whole lot better in conference play (-0.2, sixth in the conference) but they turn the ball over on a significantly lower percentage of their possessions and have the highest assist to turnover ratio in the conference.

So if they get into one of those zones where they're playing aggressive defense and flying up and down the floor, it could be a long night for Arizona.

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