Derrick Williams block was a close call
February, 22, 2011
By Diamond Leung | ESPN.com
When Arizona's Derrick Williams blocked Darnell Gant's potential game-winning shot with 0.2 seconds left on Saturday, it was just another remarkable play in a season filled with memorable moments for Williams and the Wildcats.
But should it have counted? Or should goaltending have been called? Both coaches said Tuesday that it was a close call.
"I don't think it was blatant enough to argue," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "I think it could have gone either way.
"When I watched it, you could make a case for both sides."
Said Arizona coach Sean Miller: "It could go either way. I'm the coach at Arizona, so you probably know my answer. I do think that whether you want to count it or not, it was a great individual play by Derrick. It's one thing to see things on a replay; it's a completely different thing to see it in live action. He went right up, quick jump, peak of the shot, blocked it, and I thought it was a great block.
"The thing about the Washington-Arizona game, you can't define it by one play. It was such a great game, and there were so many pivotal plays in the game that changed it from one side to the next, and that just happened to be one of the final ones."
Perhaps Romar's best argument was that there was more time left on the clock after Williams blocked the shot out of bounds. From the team's website:
The clock showed 0.2 seconds for the Huskies' final inbounds play, but it appeared at perhaps as much as a full second could have been left. Though Pac-10 officials seemingly consult courtside television monitors during most games as often than the TV announcers do, and had done so multiple times in this one, they didn't this time.
"I asked them to. They didn't want to do it," Romar said.
The lack of a review was significant. A full second, or even, say, 0.7 seconds, would have allowed for a Husky to catch and shoot before time expired, greatly expanding UW's final options to win.
Either way, like Miller said, it was a great play no matter the millimeters and physics involved. Arizona can clinch the Pac-10 title this week because of it, and Williams was very deserving of the national spotlight this week.