Spurs draft Roosevelt-grad Marcus Williams
Former Roosevelt High School star Marcus Williams was drafted by San Antonio in the second round of the NBA Draft today, the 33rd player selected.
Seattle Times staff
Former Roosevelt High School star Marcus Williams was drafted by San Antonio in the second round of the NBA Draft today, the 33rd player selected. Williams, a 6-foot-7 forward, played two years at Arizona before declaring for the draft.
Williams averaged 16.6 points and 6.7 rebounds last season for the Wildcats, but it was a disappointing season for both Williams and the team. The talented Wildcats had another confounding season, with Williams as the poster child.
Arizona never contended for the Pac-10 title, looked disinterested in a blowout loss to Oregon in the opening round of the conference tournament, then was beaten by Purdue in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Williams scored a combined 24 points in the final two games.
Coupled with a one-game suspension a few weeks earlier for a curfew violation, it all added up to question marks about Williams’ game.
Arizona assistant coach Josh Pastner, however, last week launched into a vigorous defense of his former player, saying Williams wasn’t to blame for the Wildcats’ struggles.
"I don’t believe he got enough respect nationally because we didn’t meet the expectations that we needed to meet,” Pastner said. “I don’t think he was appreciated nationally for the type of year he had.”
But some in Tucson felt Williams played the season as if he had a foot out the door to the NBA. Wildcats coach Lute Olson even appeared to be opening it for him at one point, telling the media in February that Williams was declaring for the draft before Williams had announced it himself.
But Pastner said any thought Williams wasn’t a team guy or that the NBA should be worried about his character is off track.
"Anytime anyone asks, we put that to rest quickly, because he’s a very, very good kid,” Pastner said.
And there’s much to like about Williams. Long arms that allow him to play much bigger than his 6-7 frame would indicate; enough defensive skill that Arizona put him on the other team’s best perimeter player; and good ballhandling ability that allows him to play a number of positions.
The biggest knock on his game is perimeter shooting. He shot 28.8 percent from the three-point line last season, and 69.5 percent from the free-throw line.
"He’s skilled, he can handle the ball, he’s got good size and very long arms, so he’s got the potential to play bigger than he is,” Steve Kerr, Phoenix general manager and president, said after Williams’ pre-draft workout with the Suns. “I told him after the workout, the big thing for him is his jump shot, and he knows that. He has to continue to work on his jumper.”
Pastner is convinced Williams will be fine.
"There’s no question in my mind he will have a long NBA career,” Pastner said.
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.