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2013-2014 Player Preview: #12 Derrick Wilson

Hoo boy...

Al Messerschmidt

There are some widely varied opinions on the overall usefulness of Derrick Wilson to this point in his Marquette career. Some folks, like our friends over at Paint Touches, see the junior point guard as a serviceable player, that runs the offense, plays good defense, and doesn't turn the ball over. They acknowledge some of Derrick's offensive shortcomings, but feel that he is the type of player that doesn't necessarily need to score in order to be effective.

Then there are others, like my man Rubie, who cannot see anything but the complete and utter ineffectiveness of Derrick on the offensive end. They would point out the fact that there is no amount of defense or intangibles that a player can bring to the floor that can negate the gigantic hole that is created in the offense when he is at the controls.

I find myself staunchly in the latter category. Last season the team literally looked like it was playing 4 on 5 on offense when Derrick was in the game. To me, his "running of the offense" looked a lot like nervously dribbling the air out of the ball for 28 seconds, before either attacking the rim and getting rejected, or giving it up to Vander or someone else to try to salvage the possession. He had shooting percentages of 27%(FG), 14%(3PFG), and 45%(FT!!!).

I'm still having trouble coming to grips with the fact that this is to be our starting point guard.

Minimum Expectation: In the eyes of this internet ranter, the bar for Derrick Wilson is pretty low. There HAS to be some sort of improvement in the "putting the ball through the hoop" department, right? In last year's preview, we hoped for baby steps. "Maybe he'll improve free throws" we mused. Nope. He actually shot 2 points lower from the strip in his sophomore season. In fact all of his percentages declined with his expanded role last season. That can't bode well for this year, when he appears primed to get starter's minutes. So, I guess the minimum expectation for Derrick this year is that he doesn't play any worse.

In My Wildest Dream: I'm not even going to talk about the idea of some quantum leap forward in Derrick's offensive prowess. That ain't happening. What I really hope for is for someone else to emerge and relieve Derrick of the need to be the lead guard for this team - whether it be John Dawson, Duane Wilson (after some laying of hands and anointing with oils), Todd Mayo, or whoever. Then, Derrick can go back to being the defensive stopper, role player type that he seems to be best suited for. And if, in this dream scenario, Derrick can take a few of those offensive baby steps, then he would increase his value as a contributor off the bench.

My Worst Nightmare: Derrick plays poorly... and plays A LOT. Buzz Williams has shown that he will reward guys that put in the work, and stick with it over time. Based off what he has said in the past, I have no doubt that Derrick Wilson is one of those guys. I believe that Buzz feels Derrick has earned his shot this season. And I am terrified of how things will go if Derrick plays like he did last season, but Buzz decides that he's his guy and we're going to sink or swim with Derrick at point guard.