If You Didn't Know Derrick Williams Before, You Do Now

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"He just gives you a presence all the time, that kid. He looks like he never gets tired. He is unique. He's a very unusual player to guard. He's a great player. A great kid. I told him afterward he is special .... He gives you confidence. You always know you have that guy on the court. There is a physicality to this game. Clean, beautiful. He's a beautiful player."

Quoth a coaching immortal, on some college basketball player who took the floor in last night's Sweet Sixteen, some player who carried his team all night, shooting an outlandish percentage from three (in that game and during the season), someone who made plays no one's seen in some time. He scored well over half of his team's first-half points, keeping them in a game they appeared destined to lose, and put up 32 points in total.

"Clean, beautiful." That's the verdict of Mike Krzyzewski, on the subject of Arizona's Derrick Williams, who—despite averaging 19.5 points and 8.4 rebounds, and shooting 60 percent from three as an athletic second-year player, and despite having made game-saving plays against Texas and Memphis earlier in the tournament—needed to vanquish Duke to burst into America's consciousness the way, say, Jimmer has.


There are plenty of reasons for that. He hasn't been a known quantity for very long. He doesn't have a style all his own. He's the sort of free-floating mismatch over whom the Chad Fords of the world typically wring their hands because he lacks a natural position, and it took an insane level of production this season for him to earn any draft hype. Williams will probably never be "America's new boyfriend," but perhaps last night in Anaheim he became the guy America will quietly stalk on Facebook. Stare at that photo up there for a little bit. Three flat-footed Duke players, a bunch of expectant faces, and Derrick Williams, flying in from somewhere west of the Channel Islands. Clean, beautiful.