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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 24, 2011 at 2:23 PM

UW assistant Jim Shaw: “We still need to get better”

Good day for Washington, which moved up to No. 17 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, No. 18 in the AP rankings and No. 22 in the RPI standing. Isaiah Thomas also won his second Pac-10 Player of the Week award.
The Huskies are 15-4 and 7-1 in the Pac-10 for its best conference start since the 1985-86 season, however, assistant coach Jim Shaw says there’s still room for improvement.
In an interview this afternoon with KJR’s Dave Mahler, Shaw identified four areas of concern starting with the need to become a better free throw shooting team. Washington is ninth in the Pac-10 with a 65.9 percentage at the line.
“No. 2 our three-point percentage defense has been slowly, but steadily coming up and that can’t happen,” he said. “Saturday against Arizona State was a great example of what happens when you don’t do a great job of closing off the three-point line.”
ASU shot 60 percent (9 of 15) on three-pointers in an 88-75 UW win.
“We got to still become a little bit more consistent with the third scoring option after the obvious two (Thomas and Matthew Bryan-Amaning),” Shaw said. “And then No. 4, we haven’t shot the ball quite as well from the three as what we were earlier.”
Before the Pac-10 season, the Huskies were one of the best three-pointing shooting teams in the country. They shot 42.3 percent (110 of 260) in the nonconference season. In eight conference games, UW’s three-point accuracy has dipped to 35.3 percent (65 of 184).
A big reason for the falloff can be traced to redshirt freshman C.J. Wilcox, who suffered a staph infection that forced him to miss the conference opener at USC.
“For over almost the entire preseason before he got hurt, C.J. was our best three-point shooter and ever since he got hurt he’s been slow coming back,” Shaw said. “Saturday was the first game to me where he really looked like he was 100 percent healthy. He will help some because he brings the quick release and then consistency with the other guys and making sure we’re taking the right (shots).”
Wilcox’s shooting slump actually began after he missed a potential game-winning three-pointer in the final seconds of a 63-62 defeat at No. 13 Texas A&M. He entered the Aggies game shooting 53.3 percent (24 of 45) behind the arc. He missed five of eight treys in the game, including a corner three with 17 seconds left.
Ever since, Wilcox has plummeted to 13.6 percent (3 of 22) shooting on three-pointers.

Comments | Topics: C.J. Wilcox

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