This is the second of three parts looking back at Washington’s roster this year and to what could be happening next year. Here’s the first part on the point guards, in case you missed it.
This will also be a short post because, well, there was just no wing depth this season. That’s rare for Lorenzo Romar teams, but was the case this year for Washington and it was often punished for it.
Scott Suggs, graduating
The fifth-year senior was hot to close the season, shooting 60.1 percent from the field in his final six games and averaging 18 points per before an 1-for-9 collapse against BYU in the NIT.
The poor shooting in the final game is not a surprise. It was an unsustainable pace for even the most accurate shooters. Suggs struggled all year, outside of a late six-game run, on his way to 42.4 percent from the field. Though, his efficient field-goal percentage was highest among Washington guards at 51.1 percent. He was largely rewarded for knocking down 3s at the end of the year.
But, there were toughness and all-around game problems as Suggs turned in lines that made Allan Houston jealous. In his final four regular-season games, Suggs took 43 shots. Five of those were in the paint. He had 60 turnovers, despite rarely dribbling, and just 71 rebounds on the year.
He averaged 30.8 minutes per game yet had 19 games of two rebounds or fewer, including four games with zero rebounds. The coaching staff implored him all season to rebound more. He never did.
His lack of speed, explosiveness and toughness did not allow him to provide a balanced line. He was a jump shooter. Some days that worked, most it did not.
One of the few upticks: His on-ball defense was solid much of the year.
C.J. Wilcox, Redshirt senior
Wilcox’s return is in question since he has filed his paperwork for draft consideration. He’s waiting to hear back from the NBA’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee, made up of NBA executives. Wilcox should have feedback shortly.
As for his regular season, it, like the team’s, was careening.
Wilcox started Pac-12 play looking like a conference player of the year candidate. He ended it with a shooting percentage lower than Suggs and Abdul Gaddy. Wilcox, the Huskies’ leading scorer, also had an even assist-to-turnover ratio, in addition to dealing with another non-contact injury (left foot) during the season. He said he’s “50-50” on whether he’ll return or declare for the NBA draft.
Most project him as a mid-second round pick if he goes.
Like so many, he’s been working toward a shot at the NBA since he was young. His father, Craig, has worked with him all his life on his basketball skills.
And, it’s his shot, in particular, that would get him there.
He also rebounded better this season, though his 4.3 per game average was below the six per game he said at the beginning of the season should be his average.
One other interesting thing about Wilcox that we noted the other day: He averaged more minutes per game than any Husky since Lorenzo Romar has been the Washington coach. At 34.8 minutes per game, he was the first to go more than 34 per game. It being necessary speaks to the lack of depth at this position during the season, something Mark McLaughlin would have helped with.
His final two games, Wilcox averaged 38 minutes. He also went 14-for-30 from the field, finally finding the range after such a long struggle.
Many of Wilcox’s shots during his prolonged slump were good looks. Many also rattled out. From Feb. 2 to March 13, 11 games of the 34-game season, Wilcox shot 31.9 percent.
Darin Johnson, incoming freshman
Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound wing from Sacramento, is a four-star recruit, according to Scout.com. He has signed his letter of intent.
Mike Anderson, transferring, will be a junior
Anderson is a 6-5 guard who was mined out of Mobley Area Community College in Kirksville, Mo., by assistant coach Jim Shaw. He shot very high percentages last season (54.3 percent from the field, 44.1 percent from 3 and 81.9 percent at the free-throw line). At the very least, he will add needed depth. He could also be an interesting contributor. We wrote more about him here.