The status of Scott Suggs and Shawn Kemp Jr. is still up in the air.
Suggs has plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He received platelet-rich plasma treatment Nov. 26, shortly after the injury was first diagnosed. He hasn’t played since.
Kemp hasn’t played this in the regular season because of a slight tear of the patella tendon in his right knee. Kemp hurt the knee in practice on Oct. 29 after having knee soreness during the summer. He was projected to be out six to eight weeks.
Now, the sophomore big man is heading into the sixth week since he’s played. He sounded upbeat prior to Tuesday’s practice when asked if he would play in Saturday’s 5 p.m. home game against Nevada.
“Oh, yeah, I definitely should be back Saturday,” Kemp said. “I’m going to start practice today, come in slow, do some things – not everything. But, yeah.”
Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar said not so fast.
“If they can practice a couple of days, they’ll be available,” Romar said. “Scott’s played. Shawn hasn’t played at all. So, there’s no telling what can happen with him.”
Suggs, if he feels better, is more likely to have a rapid impact since he’s already played this season. Kemp, like last year when he returned to organized basketball following a two-year hiatus, would have to work himself back into the mix.
Washington could use them.
The Huskies’ lack of depth was evident against Cal-State Fullerton. Walk-on Quinn Sterling made his debut in the first half. Backup guard Hikeem Stewart played a career-high 17 minutes after not playing against Seton Hall and Ohio State when Suggs was healthy.
Forward Martin Breunig has been removed from the rotation after ineffective play, slicing the Huskies’ big man rotation.
Having Kemp and Suggs — two likely starters heading into the season — back in the fold would provide Washington with a cascade of benefits. It would be able to sustain a higher level of defense because of the increase in capable bodies. Kemp is expected to score in the low post, adding another option there. Suggs’ shooting spreads the opposition’s defense out. He also would have been a nice fit against smaller, guard-heavy Fullerton.
“We don’t have to concoct different ways to try to get through the game defensively (with them back),” Romar said. “It helps immensely having those guys ready to play.”
The question for Washington is still when that will be.
Romar said Abdul Gaddy is fine after experiencing leg cramps and spasms that forced him out of the final five minutes of the game against Fullerton. … Coming into Tuesday, Washington’s first seven opponents of the season were a combined 36-14 (72.0). The remaining six non-conference opponents are 15-19 (44.1), and that’s only because Connecticut is 6-1. … Desmond Simmons said he had two sprained fingers, the index and middle, on his shooting hand earlier in the season, but they are feeling better the past two games.