For an illustration of just how much Spencer Dinwiddie’s injury impacted this game — and just how bad the injury appeared to be — consider that Washington coach Lorenzo Romar began his postgame press conference by saying he hopes Dinwiddie is OK.
That was an appropriate start. Dinwiddie went down with a left knee injury late in the first half of Washington’s 71-54 victory over No. 15-ranked Colorado, and his status for the future doesn’t sound all that promising.
Colorado coach Tad Boyle said they’ll have to wait for the diagnosis, but that his gut feeling is “not good.” Dinwiddie walked out of Hec Ed a little while ago with a large brace on his left knee. He was limping pretty badly, as you might imagine.
Without Dinwiddie, the Buffaloes looked pretty pedestrian against the Huskies, who defended well and used 31 points by C.J. Wilcox to coast to their first victory over a top-25 team since March 11, 2011 (Isaiah Thomas made a pretty big shot in that game).
Here’s what Romar had to say about the game, and about how the Huskies were able to take advantage of Dinwiddie’s absence.
(Opening statement) “Obviously on our side we’re in a good mood in that we were able to come up with a victory against a quality team, but whenever you play the game you hate to see something happen like what happened to Spencer Dinwiddie. We hope everything’s all right. Great kid, outstanding player. Let’s just hope that he wakes up tomorrow and he’s feeling a lot better. We’ll see what happens.
“Was proud of our guys tonight. Our guys scrapped, played hard. C.J. (Wilcox) obviously was sensational offensively, 7-of-12 3s. he got it going. He played well. I thought our team played excellent basketball, offensively and defensively, as a team. We did it as a team, and that was great to see.”
(It looked like you said something to him?) “I asked him if he was OK.”
(What did he say?) “He kind of said no.”
(What did you see on that play?) “I saw him trying to plant, as he was trying to plant the leg kind of gave a little bit. there was a delayed reaction with the pain and the discomfort. Could just see as he thought about it, ‘this really hurts’… so we’ll see.”
(How did Dinwiddie’s injury affect them?) “I never know on those. We were in a situation like that against Texas A&M, where whatever the case, whether Spencer’s OK or not, that injury was far more severe. I watched their players shed tears on the floor. They came back, played the game, I don’t know how much it affected them. I was in a game against Cincinnati when I was coaching at Saint Louis and Kenyon Martin broke his foot during the game. The team came back like gangbusters and banded together. We were able to win the game, but you never know how a team would respond to something like that.”
(On gameplan with Dinwiddie out) “It’s just one less scorer. He’s one of the top players in our league and one of the top players in America. You send your attention to someone else.”
(On guarding Askia Booker) “I think we just tried to stay in front of him, not give him lanes to get to the rim. He’s so shifty with the basketball, it’s hard. I thought our guys did a good job of just working hard to contain him to keep him in front.”
(On what is working defensively) “That team, how many foul shots did they shoot today? They get to the line on a regular basis and they’re always at the rim. With that team, they ad offensive rebounds, they had breakouts. A couple times in ball-screen situations they got to the rim, but I thought our guys did a good job of staying in front, and that’s what our defense has been doing. As opposed to playing in the passing lanes to get deflections, we’re playing in the driving lanes to prevent penetration, and we give up the pass. They can pass the ball around, but whenever it’s a penetrating situation, we try to provide help.
“Tad Boyle, to me, is one of the most under-appreciated coaches in this country. He is outstanding. When you play against his teams you can just tell they’re well-coached. And the staff, they do a great job. I’ve got a lot of respect for what they do.”
(Did you think about Wilcox’s 24-point half against UCLA?) “I didn’t think about that, I was just happy the ball was going in. Andrew was in a zone down the stretch last game, and we tried to keep going, let him go. And now C.J. was in a zone. Nigel Williams-Goss recognized that and immediately started to call things to get him the basketball. The rest of our guys recognized it. Nigel was really heady out there with that basketball.”
(On Mike Anderson’s game) “Ten rebounds. Just battled in there. Mike did a good job of … if you just allow somebody like Wesley Gordon and Scott to pound you on the inside and don’t make them pay on the other end, it can be tough. But toward the end we kind of adjusted. Mike started to take the ball outside and use that to his advantage. That size disadvantage became his advantage on offense.”
(On getting wins as proof of progress) “It’s big. You can see our guys taking more ownership of the defensive end of the floor, every day, every week. You can see our guys really believing offensively what we’re doing. And then when you’re rewarded with a win, I think it just continues to increase that attitude and that belief.”
(On Wilcox’s game) “When he gets in a zone, he’s pretty special that way.”