Scott Suggs had a platelet-rich plasma injection into his right foot last week to help him recover from plantar fasciitis faster. He’s going to start participating in practice this week and see how it goes from there.
Shawn Kemp Jr. may also start practicing this week.
Which, for Washington, is good news. It needs all the help it can get.
Cal State Fullerton provided ample help in Washington’s fortunate 74-72 win Sunday night at Hec Ed.
Twice, the Titans inexplicably fouled Washington in the final 30 seconds of the game. First, after tying the score 69-69 with 25 seconds left, Alex Harris fouled Andrew Andrews right after the inbounds by basically jumping on his head. Worse, was D.J. Seeley’s foul of C.J. Wilcox with the score tied, Washington without timeouts and 3.6 seconds left on the clock. Seeley fouled Wilcox a good 90 feet from the basket. Wilcox made both and that was the difference.
“I was surprised on the first foul and then they did it again,” Wilcox said. “I was really surprised.”
As was everyone watching.
So, Washington receives an early Christmas gift. To its credit, this was a bad matchup for it. Fullerton was filled with speedy guards who spread the floor. Many, like Seeley who came from Cal, are transfer with high-major Div. I experience. The Huskies were down 14 at the half, but did not fold.
Some quick hits:
> Desmond Simmons was a man-possessed. He came up with a career-high 18 rebounds and 14 points. Simmons told the TNT a few days back that he expected at least seven boards a game from himself. His activity Sunday overwhelmed a smaller Fullerton team and was key to Washington climbing back into the game.
> With Abdul Gaddy out for the game with five minutes remaining because of leg cramps and spasms, Andrew Andrews did not shrink. He ran the team well, created plays with his dribble penetration and finished with a career-high (just seven games into his career) of 13 points. It feels like Andrews is on the cusp. He had five assists and two turnovers in 36 minutes to up his season assist-to-turnover ratio to 2-1. He’s shooting 73.3 percent at the free-throw line, but a woeful 22.2 percent from the field. Andrews was 4-for-14 Sunday night. The majority of his looks are in rhythm and relatively clean. When Suggs comes back, Andrews likely will return to the bench. That will be a major bump in depth for Washington, especially if he can get a few more shots to go down.
> Wilcox had a terrible first half, shooting 3-for-14. He was better in the second, going 4-for-7, including a left-handed shot off the glass during which he was fouled. Not sure he called glass on that. Despite the poor shooting start, Wilcox finished with 21 points, five boards and three assists. He used his high-post pivot into a fadeaway again Sunday. That move is about automatic for him.
> For the second consecutive game, Washington came out of its high-post offense and reverted to the motion offense. Fullerton was giving the Huskies problems with its high ball pressure and constant switching. Washington was rarely able to get into the offense.
“We knew if we let them run their offense, it would be a blowout,” Fullerton coach Andy Newman said. “It worked for 22 minutes.”
That’s because Washington went to the motion, began to get into the paint (a stunning 13 of its 15 second-half field goals were in the lane) and get to the foul line.
> Washington also switched from the 2-3 zone it played much of the first half to man-to-man in the second. It seemed to help wake Washington up. Sagging into a zone is often a good way to make the team playing it lethargic early on.
> Despite Simmons’ 18 boards, Washington was outrebounded 43-41.
> Walk-on Quinn Sterling made his debut when he played a minute in the first half.
> The Huskies outscored Fullerton 22-5 from the free-throw line. Getting into the bonus midway through the second half was crucial to Washington creeping back into the game. The Huskies led 2-0 and didn’t lead again until a dunk by N’Diaye put them up 67-65 with 2:57 remaining.
> Washington flipped the points in the paint in the second half. Fullerton outscored the Huskies 22-12 in that category in the first. Washington outscored Fullerton 26-16 in the second half.
> Up next is Nevada, which is 4-3 and just lost to Drake, on Saturday.