News & Events

PGU Commentary: It Takes Two to Tango

January 17th, 2011 News No Comments

Staff Writer AW Butler

Derrick Williams needs some help.

Batman had Robin. Peter Pan had Tinkerbell. Harry Potter, Ron Weasley; Dr. Evil, Mini Me; you, your wingman.

Each of these pairs have enjoyed great triumphs and the front man is well renowned. In each case, one was a star and the other a side kick. They’ve successfully fought crime, defeated Hook and Voldemort, nearly obtained $1 million, and, well, what you get done with your wingman is your business. A great hero always has his trusted sidekick, his accomplice to big things.

Alas, Robin only made it into two movies, Pan will never grow up, Potter doesn’t get the girl, Dr. Evil was a joke, and, well, I like to think you’re an anomaly and had immense success. But sometimes, the sidekick just won’t cut it.

The great ones, though, have far more than a sidekick. They have a complement to their talents which, in turn, makes them even greater. Bert and Ernie. Seinfeld and Larry David. Jordan and Pippen.

These duos, unlike the aforementioned heroes and sidekicks, are the best. Sesame Street has been around for more than forty years. Seinfeld was voted TV’s greatest show of all time. Jordan and Pippen have six rings.

What can we learn from this brief history of dynamic duos? It takes one to be good and two to be great. One can be big but two can be legendary.

Derrick Williams, more than any player in Arizona basketball history, needs that right hand man.

Like the greats of Arizona past – the teams we remember, the ones that wowed us – the 2010-11 ‘Cats must develop their duo. What they need is another scorer, another threat, another star.

Sean Elliott was very good. The year before he led Arizona to its first Final Four he averaged 19 points per game and the Wildcats finished 18-12. One year later, with the addition of a healthy senior point guard named Steve Kerr, the Wildcats had their requisite duo and went on a 35-3 tear through the 1987-88 season. It was, in the truest sense, the stuff of legends.

No one is going to mistake this season’s team for a national title contender any time soon, but to achieve that next level, someone must assert themselves as a reliable second threat.

Williams has been dazzling. He’s produced to the tune 19 and 7 and hasn’t disappointed in the least. When his team has needed him most he has rose to the occasion. He’s been clutch, assertive, and highlight worthy. Very, very highlight worthy.

What we’ve learned about the talent around him is that it is young, inexperienced, and timid, but that it can get hot. The Wildcats have used stellar performances from nearly every player on its roster not named Williams to battle its way to 15-3.

This is a solid team and a team that can piece together a good performance and hang with a top tier team like, oh say, Kansas. But, if they cannot develop a reliable second threat, they won’t amount to much more than an solid squad. Fortunately, solid is good enough in the 2010-11 version of the Pac-10.

Unfortunately for Arizona, solid has never been good enough.

And Lamont Jones cannot be the answer. While on a different team he could be, his role on this team is not to be a scoring threat. When he is forced to score it means things are not going well. Jones’ three highest scoring totals coincide with Arizona’s three losses. But after Momo, there aren’t many natural scorers on this team. There is talent, though.

Collectively, the Gen-1 Millers are capable of filling in behind Williams and playing the role of Elliot’s Kerr, Khalid’s Damon, Miles’ Bibby, Luke’s Jason, or Salim’s Channing.

I’m not here to prognosticate or point out an individual who needs to or can do it. We can all see there is some developing talent on this team.

The fun part is getting to watch greatness develop. To see it at square one and where it goes from there. And undoubtedly we are seeing individual greatness from Derrick Williams.

Will someone step up to form a dynamic duo? Or will Arizona remain a one man show?


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