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Husky Men's Basketball

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

October 21, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Counting down the Huskies — No. 5 C.J. Wilcox

23 - C.J. WIlcox.jpg
The Washington countdown continues with the player who may be the best shooter in the Pac-12 conference and one of the top long-range marksmen in the country — C.J. Wilcox.
In his first season, the 6 foot 5 sophomore connected on a team-high 63 pointers, which ranks eighth in UW history and the most ever by a freshman.
He connected on a trey in 26 of the 33 games he played. He shot 40.1 percent behind the arc, which was second on the team and seventh in the Pac-10 conference.
Wilcox checks in at No. 5 on our list, but It wouldn’t be surprising if he led the team in scoring this season.
When he’s hot, Wilcox is incredible which was the case against Long Beach State when he connected on 6 of 8 three-pointers for 20 points.
His signature moment was a 24-point performance in the second half that led the Huskies to a 70-63 win against UCLA.
“That’s a performance I’ll never forget,” coach Lorenzo Romar said after the game. “That’s one of the greatest performances maybe in the history of the program.”
Wilcox also struggled with a midseason shooting slump and a couple of injuries.
During an 11-game stretch that began mid-December and extended to early February, he connected on just 5 of 28 (17.9 percent) three-pointers.
He missed the game at USC because of a hip infection and sat out the game at Washington State after suffering a concussion in practice. Wilcox said the injuries contributed to his shooting slump. He also lamented a 15-game streak in which he didn’t attempt a free throw.
Wilcox embraced his role as a spot-up shooter last season at the expense of delaying the development of other facets of game. Sixty-three of his 90 field goals (70 percent) were behind the arc and 157 of his 215 attempts (73 percent) were treys.
He shot 80.6 percent on free throws, but attempted just 31 shots at the line, which were the second fewest on the team among nine players who appeared in at least 15 games. His 68 rebounds and 29 assists also ranked second and third among UW players who played the bulk of the season.
Wilcox finished the season with a bang and started six of the final nine games, including every game in the Pac-10 Tournament. He was picked to the five-man Pac-10 Freshman team and has been tabbed as one of the conference’s top NBA prospects.
Before senior Scott Suggs underwent surgery that will sideline him for the next seven weeks, Wilcox was expected to contend for a starting job. The short-handed Huskies will likely lean on Wilcox even more until Suggs return.
Wilcox hopes to expand his offensive repertoire. He worked on dribble drives, low-post moves and passing in the offseason with hopes of maturing into an all-around player. Romar also said Wilcox is the quickest player on the team, an above-average defender and his athleticism is underrated.
“I think we’ll all see more to his game,” Romar said.
Here’s a transcript of a recent interview with Wilcox.

(What’s a good shot and a bad shot?) “For me personally, it’s kind of all about the rhythm of the game. If you feel that you’re going to take different shots, more difficult shots just to test your shot then that can sometimes be okay. For the most part, I know what a good shot is. It’s not being worried about being selfish or anything. It’s just playing in the flow of the game and doing what comes natural.”
(Can you attempt a good shot that doesn’t go in?) “Yeah definitely.”
(So a good shot is one that you innately feel good about?) “Not exactly. It’s just a shot that you’ve done before and that you’ve made before. If it’s something new and kind of a wild shot, then that’s a bad shot. Especially if it gets blocked or something like that. Romar says if you’re shot gets blocked, it’s a bad shot. For me, I’ve just kind of known over the years what’s a good shot and what’s a bad shot for me.”
(That’s interesting because you’ve told me this year you’re working to expand your game and want to incorporate more dribble drives into your offensive arsenal. So how do you balance wanting to try something new with this voice in your head that might say that’s a bad shot?) “It will be something new in a game setting, but as far as in the offseason I worked on it all the time so it’s not something that a total shock to me. But in the game, it’s going to be some new shots and something I haven’t taken before. But I should be used to it.”
(What did you work on this summer?) “Getting to the basket, free throws, getting to the free throw line, a lot of footwork stuff beneath the basket and a lot of 1-on-1 moves and stuff like that to get around my defender and get other people open.”
(Why was it important to work on those aspects of your game?) “Because I knew the guards were going to have a lot more opportunities to make moves to the basket with Isaiah (Thomas) being gone and our other starters being gone. After the season last year, I just knew I had to step up and be more versatile.”
(Why didn’t you draw more fouls last season?) “Last year I really didn’t have to because like I said because we had Isaiah getting to the free throw line and Matt (Matthew Bryan-Amaning) and all of those guys. I just had to stand in the corner and shoot threes. But now I feel like I’m going to be put in a position to get to the free throw line.”
(What did you learn from last season?) “I feel like I’ve seen some of the best players our there so I know what to expect and that’s going to give me a head start playing some of the bigger teams this year. I won’t be so nervous. I played North Carolina in North Carolina and there’s really no bigger game than that. So I know what I’m going to face.”
(What was the low moment for you last year?) “I guess the low moment was when I got the staph infection and then got the concussion. Just got down. That whole thing was tough for me. I was having a good season before that and just kind of just fell off. That was the toughest part of the season.”
(What was the high moment?) “Just being able to play in the NCAA tournament and playing in the Pac-10 Tournament. Those were the funniest times for me.”
(I remember the UCLA game as being a high moment for you.) “A lot of people think about that game, but I don’t think about my heights too much because you start to think about things you’re not supposed to. So I just try to stay level headed. It was a good game, but you just have to be prepared to work every day and hopefully good things will happen.”
(Individually speaking, what would you like to do this season?) “Just become a better basketball player. Just be able to do what the team needs me to do. Not just shoot threes, but get more rebounds and play more defense. Stuff like that. Just become a better player and helping out the team.”
(You see yourself taking a larger role with Scott Suggs missing at least the first six games?) “Yeah. We got enough guards that will come in and step up and be more aggressive now that he’s gone.”
(Had a chance to see the video you did this summer. How did that come about?) “We were bored. We were at home. We were bored. Just got a camera and started hanging out. That was just something to do.”
(You planning any more?) “We were trying to, but since I got back I’ve been so busy we can’t even get anything recorded or anything like that.”
(Are you happy with the way it turned out?) “Yeah. We actually got one of them canceled off of YouTube because of the music that was on there. That was one of our best ones so a lot of people didn’t get see that so I’m kind of frustrated about that.”

Comments | Topics: C.J. Wilcox, Scott Suggs, UCLA


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