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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 15, 2012 at 8:22 PM

C.J. Wilcox to miss at least next two games

Thanks to Kyle McCormick for the highlights.
First let’s start with the most pressing news, C.J. Wilcox will likely miss next week’s games against California and Stanford due to a stress fracture in his left femur, which causes pain in his hip.
Coach Lorenzo Romar said he hopes to have Wilcox for the Jan. 26 game at Arizona State.
“He’s very doubtful for next weekend,” Romar said. “We’re hopeful that when we go to Arizona, he may be able to give us something. But he’s very doubtful. I wouldn’t plan on him being able to go next week.
“He has a stress fracture in his femur. Not a huge one. It’s something that can be managed and could possibly heal on its own. That’s why he has to rest it. His leg actually feels better today than it did against Seattle U. (on Tuesday). And he played against Seattle U. 30-plus minutes. But if he continues to do that it’s going to progress on the decline and it’s not going to get any better. So he has to rest.
“It’s just kind of been going on a couple of weeks.”
It’s an awful time to lose Wilcox, who is second on the team in scoring. He’s such an integral part of the team and it obvious tonight in Washington’s 75-65 victory.
The Huskies looked as if they used the first half to figure out how they were going to play without the 6-5 sophomore guard, who averages 15.5 points per game.
“It changes the makeup of our team,” Romar said.
Washington made just 3 of 13 three-pointers in the first half against Washington State’s 2-3 zone. The Huskies scored a season-low tying 25 points in the first half and shot 29 percent from the field.
The game turned in the second half, but the Huskies will need to figure out how to generate consistent offense without Wilcox. They also need more than 13 combined points from reserves Darnell Gant, Hikeem Stewart, Martin Breunig and Shawn Kemp Jr.
Romar leaned heavily on Terrence Ross (39 minutes), Tony Wroten Jr. (36), Abdul Gaddy (35) and Darnell Gant (33).
It remains to be seen if UW’s six-man rotation can hold up against Pac-12 leaders Cal and Stanford.
The Huskies didn’t play their best game – the Oregon win was much better – but it feels like tonight’s dramatic comeback could have lingering positive affects for a team that had been searching for a defining moment.
But then you never want to make too much of a win at home for the Huskies because they tend to do amazing things at Edmundson Pavilion. Washington is 10-1 at Hec Ed this season and it has lost just six home games.
If tonight’s game against Washington State were in Pullman, not sure if the Huskies would have pulled out the win. As it were, they were buoyed by the first sellout crowd this season who rocked the arena and enjoyed a thrilling victory.
“That’s the first time this year I’ve heard our crowd like that,” Romar said. “When our crowd is like that, it’s an unbelievable feeling, an unbelievable feeling for our guys. They get so motivated, they feed off of that so much and, when the crowd really got into it — it really helped. When you can’t hear the whistle blow, it’s pretty loud in here.”
Washington gave its fans plenty to cheer about in the second half. At times, the noise reached ear-splitting levels.
“I’ve never played in an atmosphere like that,” Wroten said. “Especially when we started back in and getting the lead, it was loud and you couldn’t hear yourself. (You) couldn’t talk to your teammates. It was a crazy atmosphere and it just shows what our crowd is capable of when we do great things.
“We just have to keep moving forward doing great things so that we can keep our crowd like that. It gets all of us going. First, it starts it up when we start coming back. Then we start playing defense and the crowd gets into it and that’s when we get dunks and steals. The crowd is a big factor. That’s why it’s so hard to win on the road.”
The Huskies outrebounded the Cougars 46-24 and held them to 65 points. That’s a recipe that can win anywhere.
But Washington enters the difficult portion of its schedule. After next week’s game, they finish the season with seven of 11 games on the road.
It remains to be seen if tonight was the start of something special or the last hoorah for a team that doesn’t have a lot of room for errors.

Photo credit: Seattle Times – Dean Rutz
— Got to go with co-MVP’s tonight. Let’s start with Ross, who notched career bests in points (30) and rebounds (14). This was the game UW fans has been waiting for months from the unassuming sophomore guard. Granted he needed 21 shots, but the Huskies needed him to take those shots. He battled through a 1-for-9 shooting performance in the first half and didn’t lose his confidence. Ross’ entire skill set was on display in a brilliant second half in which he scored 26 points in 18 minutes. He hit step-back, fadeaway three-pointers. He attacked the glass for five offensive rebounds. He flushed an alley-oop dunk. And he had two assists, two steals and just one turnover.
Gaddy on Ross: “Some games you’re going to have off nights. He didn’t even start really well, but all of a sudden, he got going. He’s difficult to stop when he gets going, whether you’re guarding him close and everything. He’s just difficult to stop.”
Here’s Jerry Brewer’s take on Ross.
— Got to give Romar a share of MVP honors tonight. Often times it’s difficult to gauge his influence on the team, but his technical in the second half (above) certainly motivated the Huskies. Romar doesn’t get T’d up very often, but this time it was effective. Even better, he made a shrewd coaching move that helped the Huskies win the game. In the second half, Romar moved Wroten off the ball and placed the 6-5 guard just below the free throw line with his back to the basket to counter WSU’s 2-3 zone. With Wroten inside, he could get the rim much easier or pass to teammates who cut to the basket or were spotting up on the perimeter.
— Wroten won’t let on how much he’s hurting, but it appears as if he’s gutting through several nagging injuries stemming from a hard fall last Tuesday. He played a career-high 36 minutes, but had an awful time offensively. He missed 11 of 14 shots and shot 7 of 13 at the line. Still Wroten was a catalyst in the 15-2 run that gave UW control of the game.
“I’m sore still, Wroten said. “Really sore. But we got the win, so that’s just kind of outweighing my pain right now, so it doesn’t matter. We’re just going to enjoy this win and I’m going to keep rehabbing.”
— Romar and UW players raved about the way Gant led the team tonight. Apparently when Romar received the technical, Gant huddled the players and gave a few words of encouragement. he also contributed two monster dunks and three three-pointers that helped the Huskies complete a dramatic comeback. His eight rebounds wer ethe most in the past six games. Gant had been fading from the lineup in recent weeks, but he played a career-high 33 minutes. It was also his best game this season.
Romar on Gant: “Darnell Gant showed great, great leadership – knocking shots down, rebounding, defending, leading – he did a phenomenal job that way.”
Aziz N’Diaye had a quiet 12 points and eight rebounds. He had a size advantage inside and helped the Huskies control the area around the basket. N’Diaye also converted 4 of 4 free throws and was 4 of 5 from the field.
— The Huskies are going to need more than five points and 2-for-10 shooting next week. His team-high six assists were important in the win, but Gaddy gets a lot of open looks and will need to help fill the void created by Wilcox. Gaddy took six three-point shots and made one. Most were uncontested shots.
— In some ways you want to say that Desmond Simmons struggled, but he collected seven rebounds in 19 minutes. His shot was off (1 for 6), but his role isn’t scoring.
— Stewart played 10 scoreless minutes. He was on the floor just one minute in the second half.
— Breunig won’t get more than the one minute he played tonight if he doesn’t play better defense. He gets caught up in the action and sometimes fail to rotate. It’s one of Romar’s pet peeves because one defensive breakdown can make the team look as if it hadn’t practiced the previous week.
— Not sure why Kemp didn’t play more than one minute.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox, top 25


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