"Containing" Arizona Wildcats star and NBA lottery prospect Derrick Williams was pretty impressive by any defensive standard.
But Washington Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar helped articulate what made it so impressive.
UW Basketball: Huskies' Zone Defense Hardly An ‘Earth-Shattering Revelation’ - SB Nation Seattle
However, what makes the performance particularly impressive is what didn't show up in the boxscore. With the benefit of film-enhanced hindsight, Romar explained that how Williams got his points was as important as the final stat line.
"If you think about it, how many of those buckets were scored with him and Aziz?" asked Romar after listing every single basket that Williams scored in the second half. "Now they run a motion a lot and he's running him all over the perimeter. But with that being said, the only time he scored on Aziz was in the first half - he went to the basket and drove it and made a nice shot. And he hit the three. Other than that, Aziz did a phenomenal job. And Derrick Williams only went to the line seven times - he averages 10 times going to the line a game. People might not pick that up - that might go over a lot of people's heads."
But while N'Diaye was an essential part of containing Williams, this was a team effort. And Romar's shot-by-shot breakdown of Williams' performance just before that quote helps to clarify that.
"He had two in the first half," said Romar of Williams' 8-for-15 performance. "Watch this...
- "...he gets one in the second half where we zoned an out of bounds play and we had bad coverage; he goes over the top, dunks it, there's one."
- "He gets one where we're fronting him - and it wasn't Aziz - and we're fronting him our guy is supposed to come over and stay big. He went for a steal...that was his second bucket."
- "He got one where-, the steal. He got one, three."
- "He got one offensive rebound after we took a charge and they didn't call it - he got the ball back. That's a fourth basket."
- "Momo Jones drives the baseline - we didn't have as good coverage as we should've had - he dgets, he gets one. That's five buckets right there...."
- "Oh, he had a three and Aziz was on him when he hit the three."
The point here: the Huskies reduced the Pac-10's second-leading scorer entering the game into a player forced to pick up what we'd normally describe as hustle points. Yes, he still got his. But it didn't come easy and the Huskies didn't allow him to take over the game.
Click here to see SBN Seattle's feature about how and why the Huskies are using more zone defense this season.