Will Arizona star sophomore Derrick Williams be any easier for Cal to contain with a sprained right pinkie finger than he was last month when he scored 31 points against the Bears in Tucson?
If the past two games are any indication, no. Williams, a 6-foot-8 forward, is not letting the injury slow him much.
He had 41 points and shot 70 percent from the field in wins over USC and Stanford, leading the No. 21 Wildcats (19-4, 8-2) to the top of the Pac-10 standings. Arizona visits Haas Pavilion on Saturday to take on Cal (13-9, 6-4), winner of four in a row and alone in fourth place.
The Wildcats beat Cal 73-71 in Tucson last month, but a victory by the Bears would leave them only one game out of first place.
"I'm going to have to fight through pain, and Coach let me know that," Williams told the Arizona Daily Star after the win Thursday night at Stanford. "The biggest adjustment is in rebounding, when you go up with two hands. There were rebounds I should have gotten."
Williams, who injured his right pinkie nine days ago at UCLA, scored 21 points vs. Stanford, often shooting with his uninjured left hand.
"He's playing with a bandaged hand, and it will get better, but right now it's hard," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "It's going to be hard on this whole trip."
The Bears saw Williams at his best, when he drew enough fouls to shoot a school-record 22 free throws.
"My first impression was, 'Oh my goodness,
Williams is averaging 19.9 points, has taken 220 free throws and has made 24 of 35 3-pointers. It adds up to generating 2.15 points per field-goal attempt.
Notes: Junior guard Jorge Gutierrez is shooting just 13 for 45 from the field during the Bears' four-game win streak. The flip side: He has 20 rebounds, 25 assists, eight steals and has made 26 of 31 free throws. "... A concern for the Bears vs. Arizona? Their starters played 183 of 200 minutes on Thursday night, including a career-high 36 by center Markhuri Sanders-Frison.
Arizona (19-4, 8-2 Pac-10) at Cal (13-9, 6-4), 5 p.m., CSNCA