Going into the NCAA tournament, there really was not a lot for Arizona to prove. In Sean Miller's second year and with a team that certainly is not the most talented in the conference, Arizona was able to win a Pac-10 championship.
One week later, the Wildcats are headed to the Sweet 16. Not only have they proved they belong, but Arizona has also shown that the team does not just consist of Derrick Williams and four other guys.
"A lot of people tried to focus on me and shut me down, that's why my teammates are here for me," Williams said. "They're going to make wide open shots if they're wide open. That's what we do in practice, and if you want to shut me down, my teammates are going to step up and score."
It is not necessarily the players scoring points that deserve credit, as Williams is quick to point to Jesse Perry's contributions.
"He's meant a lot to our team, rebounding, he can hit open shot," Williams says of Perry. "Just brings aggressive play every night. That's when we first came in, and that's how he plays. He's going on to get the rebounds.
"He's going to do the dirty work for our team. I'm glad we have him on our team because we couldn't be where we are today if we wouldn't have him as well as Jordin Mayes right here. So if we didn't have him either, I don't know where we'd be. I know we wouldn't be in the tournament."
Miller also added that he was glad to have Mayes and Perry, as both improve the team dramatically.
"It's been very important," Miller said. "You know, Jesse knows his role, does it extremely well. He's a rebounder at both ends, and although he's somewhat undersized at times, he's more skilled than you realize.
"He can put the ball on the floor. I feel like he complements Derrick on offense very well. Most importantly, he's just a great kid who cares a lot about winning and adding both Jordin Mayes and Jesse Perry to our team has really allowed us to be a lot better this year."
Arizona will now face Duke on Thursday with the team having the goal of moving to the Elite Eight only two days later.
"I think it's going to be a reunion for all three of us right here, going home and playing in Anaheim," Williams said. "Everybody's going to be at the game that we know, family, friends, people that know other people that know us, so we're going to have a lot of fans there. It will be like a home game for us.
"Hopefully we don't disappoint. We all want to play it good, and against one of the greatest programs in college basketball. Everybody wants to beat Duke when they're younger, and hopefully we can do that."
Arizona not a one man team
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