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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

October 16, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Artem light

When the Huskies begin practices tomorrow in Lacey, one player the trainers will be keeping a studied eye on is center Artem Wallace.
The 6-8 senior is recovering from off-season surgery to repair an ACL injury to his right knee suffered in the season-finale loss in the CBI to Valparaiso.
Wallace has made a pretty rapid recovery, saying he will be able to particpate in some 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 drills when practices begin. How quickly he is allowed to transition into full team stuff will depend on how he does in those drills.
“The trainers will be there watching me and they’ll let me know what drills I’m allowed to progress to,” he said. “It’s mostly just how comfortable I feel doing things, and then we’ll just go from there.”
After Wallace fell to the floor in a heap against Valpo, he admitted he worried what lay ahead.
“I was hoping to be almost ready by the time practiced started, but I had my doubts because you never know with a knee,” he said. “So I’m glad it has turned out the way it has.”
The injury meant Wallace had to condition a little bit differently this off-season, and ultimately maybe a little bit better.
He admittedly arrived to practice last year “a little pudgy,” weighing in the 265-pound range before getting down to 255 during the season.
He said Wednesday he is at 254.5 “so I’m at my playing weight right now.”
Without being able to play, Wallace said “I just had to make sure my diet was not going to Jack in the Box every day and just paying attention to what I eat and work out.” He said he rode a stationary bike an hour to 90 minutes most days to keep the weight off, and has gradually worked in running and other basketball-type drills.
“I wanted to have my knee fully recovered so I didn’t come back too fast and re-injure it,” he said.
Wallace started 25 of 31 games for UW last season, and while there’s no guarantee he’ll keep that designation this year, as the team’s most pure center — that’s how UW coach Lorenzo Romar referred to him Wednesday — he’s likely assured of seeing major action at times depending on matchups.
Asked what role he expects, Wallace said the same as always: “Play defense, rebound, chase guys down, help the team win,” he said.
Wallace mostly wants to make sure he’s a part of it all this season.
“We are having a lot of good chemistry already,” he said. “We have a lot of new, talented guys and Jon (Brockman) and Quincy (Pondexter) and everybody have worked hard in the off-season. I think we can be a special team. We just have to come together, play our game and see where it takes us.”

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