March 11, 2011
TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona men's basketball player Derrick Williams received all-district honors, as the United States Basketball Writers Association announced its all-district honors Thursday.
Williams was named the district Player of the Year and was a first-team all-District IX selection in voting done by the national membership. He was joined on the district team by Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Washington; Jorge Gutierrez, California; Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State; Mickey McConnell, Saint Mary's; Reeves Nelson, UCLA; Isaiah Thomas, Washington; Klay Thompson, Washington State; Nikola Vucevic, USC; and Casper Ware, Long Beach State. San Diego State's Steve Fisher was District IX Coach of the Year.
A 6-foot-8, 241-pound sophomore forward from La Mirada, Calif., Williams leads Arizona with per-game averages of 18.9 points and 8.1 rebounds, to go with a .615 (185-of-301) field goal percentage through 32 appearances (all starts). He has scored in double figures 31 times, posted 10 double-doubles and has the two highest single-game rebounding totals in the Pac-10 this season (19 at Washington State on Jan. 22 and 18 at California on Feb. 5).
The 2011 Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year, Williams leads the conference in field goal percentage, has connected on 63.0 percent (34-of-54) of his three-point field goal attempts and ranks in the top 10 in four other statistical categories within the conference: scoring (2nd), rebounding (5th), offensive rebounds (2.8 orpg/5th) and defensive rebounds (5.4 drpg/5th).
Williams' selection as district Player of the Year makes him the fifth Arizona to earn the honor (accomplished six times) since 1988 and the first since Salim Stoudamire in 2005. It is the 45the time that a Wildcat was so honored by the USBWA.
Arizona (26-6, 14-4 Pac-10) will next be in action on Friday, March 11, at the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament. The top-seeded Wildcats face No. 4 seed USC in the semifinals at 6 p.m. PST. The game will be televised nationally by FSN.