Hustling Derrick Wilson of East High helps Marquette into Elite 8 showdown

Van Williams | Alaska Sports Hall of FameAlaska Sports Hall of Fame
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Anchorage basketball player Derrick Wilson is a lot of hustle and muscle with a little playmaker sprinkled in -- and he'll get to show the nation on CBS television Saturday when his Marquette Golden Eagles take on Syracue in an Elite Eight game at 12:30 p.m.

The Marquette point guard showed off both aspects of his all-around game as No. 3 Marquette beat No. 2 Miami 71-61 in the East Regional in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. Marquette is now one win from reaching the Final Four for the first time since NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat was in college.

Wilson, of East High fame, had a team-high three assists and he didn’t commit a turnover for the 22nd time this season on Thursday.

Better known for his defense, the 6-foot-1 sophomore is a great on-ball defender who might lead the league in effort plays. “He’s a pretty good player for never having scored in the NCAA Tournament,” Marquette coach Buzz Williams said in the post-game press conference. “I love Derrick.”

Wilson came off the bench to play just 12 minutes, but he made every second count. He was strong with the ball, played aggressive defense and made smart decisions. Not surprising for a player with a 50-to-19 assist to turnover ratio.

In fact, he’s made just one turnover since Feb. 19 – that’s 114 minutes stretched over three games in the Big East Tournament and three games in the NCAA Tournament.

Van Williams, a 20-year local sports writer and the former sports editor of the Anchorage Daily News, writes about the athletic exploits of Alaskans for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. He can be reached at