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2012-13 Player Preview: #12 Derrick Wilson

Next on the parade of Player Previews, Marquette's Nanook of the North, sophomore guard Derrick Wilson.

Does a year of experience and a new number mean big things in 2012 for Derrick Wilson?
Does a year of experience and a new number mean big things in 2012 for Derrick Wilson?

Derrick Wilson's freshman year at Marquette was something of a mixed bag. He came in with a reputation as a tenacious defender, and that he definitely was. However, he was often a little too tenacious, averaging 1.5 fouls a game last season. That may not seem like a lot, but when you considered he averaged just 8 minutes a game (and didn't play more than 4 minutes in any game from late February on), you can see the concern. Offensively Wilson showed himself to be a capable facilitator. He handed out 24 assists, with just 9 turnovers, in his limited time. On the other hand, his lack of consistent scoring and 47% free throw percentage made him a bit of a liability on that end of the floor.

So you have some good, some bad, and sporadic minutes. Such is the life of most freshmen in college basketball. But Derrick is a freshman no longer, and figures to see an expanded role in Marquette's plans this season

Minimum Expectation: The departure of TJ Taylor means that there isn't really a player coming in that threatens to knock Derrick out of his role as the back-up to Junior Cadougan. Though that still doesn't mean a ton of minutes for Derrick, I expect to see him continue to progress. Hopefully, he can reign in the ticky-tack fouls that will allow him to stay on the floor longer, and be more effective as a defender. I also expect to see some improvement offensively. Now I don't think he's going to get out there and suddenly be the second coming of DJO, but I do expect to see steps in the right direction -- and hitting free throws would be a good place to start.

Wildest Dream: The wildest dream is that Derrick takes all of those steps I mentioned above, and then about 3 more beyond there. In this scenario, he becomes a true lockdown defender AND develops enough of an offensive game to allow Buzz to keep him out there in big situations. He uses that running back like body to attack the paint and set up easy looks for his mates -- and, of course, lays a couple in for himself. Then this would allow the staff to feel comfortable sitting Junior Cadougan when he needs a blow, or when the Monstars steal his talent like occasionally happened last season.

Worst Nightmare: The worst nightmare for Derrick is pretty much the same as it is for any second-year player coming in without a clearly defined role on the team. My fear is that he takes none of those steps and remains the same player he had been last year. This causes the coaching staff to lose confidence in him, his minutes dwindle to nothing, and next season he is looking to play somewhere closer to home (which for him would be in like British Columbia or something).