Derrick Williams dropped 14 points and corralled two rebounds in his NBA debut, a preseason game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. With a seemingly loaded frontline of Kevin Love, Michael Beasley and Darko Milicic, Williams came off the bench, but so did Ricky Rubio, who threw a nice alley-oop pass to Williams off a spin-move in the paint.
Look for this to become frequent. Rubio, too, will probably come off the bench in his own rookie season.
Meanwhile, Williams showed out in his first NBA action with an increased NBA 3-point shot. The biggest learning curve will come in his rebounding -- he was never especially fantastic at it at Arizona -- and on defense, and with Beasley remaining on the roster despite offseason, off-court troubles, Williams has time and motivation to grow into a starter.
Other former Wildcats in action in Day 1 of a brief NBA preseason were Houston Rockets teammates Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill, who both started for Houston. Budinger scored seven points and had six rebounds, but he's already been established as a smart NBA role player.
Hill, though, made a big impression, scoring 17 and grabbing 13 rebounds against a large San Antonio frontline (albeit without Tim Duncan). Will 2011-12 be Hill's breakout year?