It’s difficult to know if Scott Suggs was going to start this season, but the senior co-captain was certainly going to be a fixture in the rotation. He averaged 18.3 minutes per game last season and that was likely to substantially increase this season.
Coach Lorenzo Romar said Suggs was going to be “one of the guys that was going to score a lot of points for us. One of the guys who was going to provide experience for us, the overall know-how. He was going to fill a lot of roles.”
Suggs averaged 7.4 points in 31 games last season and he’s played in 84 games the past three seasons. He’s also a 41 percent three-point shooter.
It’s reasonable to assume the loss of Suggs means sophomore guards Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox will need to carry more of the scoring load. The trio is similar in style and ability.
Many believe Ross, who started four games last season, was going to begin the season in the starting lineup.
Wilcox started six games last season including a three-game stretch alongside Ross during the Pac-10 Tournament when the Huskies played perhaps their best basketball of the season and won the tourney title.
With Isaiah Thomas running the offense, Ross and Wilcox were dazzling as a sharp-shooting duo during the tournament. Ross averaged 15.3 points and Wilcox averaged 13.
It was Ross and Wilcox who each drained a pair of three-pointers from opposite corners in final seconds of regulation that sent the conference tournament championship against Arizona into overtime. Ross hit a three with 17 seconds left to pull UW to within a point and Wilcox tied the game with a trey with seven seconds on the clock.
Wilcox also scored four points of UW’s nine points in the extra period and Ross had two.
There’s also the belief Suggs’ absence opens a spot in the starting lineup for Tony Wroten Jr. It’s unclear whether the touted freshman will be able to unseat Abdul Gaddy, the team’s only other true point guard this season, who has started 42 of his 49 games at Washington, including his last 41.
It’s also unknown whether they can play simultaneously. Romar has played two point guards in the past so it wouldn’t be uncommon if Gaddy and Wroten were to share the court and the responsibilities of running the offense.
Hikeem Stewart is the only other guard on the roster who will play this season and he could see more minutes, especially in the early non-conference games.
Fifth-year senior co-captain Darnell Gant and 7-foot center Aziz N’Diaye are strong candidates to secure a starting job, however, Suggs’ absence impacts the front court as well.
Romar may experiment with a big lineup early in season and slide one of the taller forwards such as 6-7 redshirt freshman Desmond Simmons, 6-8 freshman Martin Breunig or 6-10 freshman Jernard Jarreau into a spot that would have been occupied by Suggs. All three forwards are versatile enough to play on the perimeter and in the post.
The big lineup may sacrifice scoring, but it should help the Huskies’ rebounding.
MONDAY MORNING LINKS:
— Here’s our story in today’s newspaper about Ross, who is tabbed by many to take over as UW’s top scorer.
— Andy Katz at ESPN.com caught up with Romar last week in New York for a quick preview of the Huskies.
— Lisa Williams, the mother of Arizona forward Kevin Parrom, died Sunday following a two-plus-year battle with cancer.
— It’s been a rough start for several Pac-12 teams. Washington lost Scott Suggs. Arizona lost Kevin Parrom. USC lost Jio Fontan and Dewayne Dedmon. Arizona State is still practicing without star freshman Jahii Carson.
— Oregon put together a highlight video clip from Friday’s Matt Knight Madness.
— Can Arizona reload? The Wildcats face the stiff challenge of replacing Pac-10 Player of the Year Derrick Williams.
— Oregon State finished 11-20 last season, but the Beavers are talking big and taking aim at the NCAA tournament.
— Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski needs three victories to pass Bob Knight on the all-time Division I career coaching list.
— Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman at CBSSports.com unveil their preseason top “26,” which includes Arizona, UCLA and California.
— Catching up with Seattle-area basketball star Anrio Adams, who bounced around a bit last season, but has landed at Rainier Beach High. He said he’s being recruited by Baylor, Georgetown, LSU, Arizona, and Louisville.
— And finally, former UW standout Justin Dentmon is one of 15 finalist selected for the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s Pan American Games Team. USA’s official 12-man USA team will be announced before the team departs Oct. 23 for games that are being held Oct. 26-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico.