The Washington Huskies have shown the capability to make a run at the Pac-12 Conference Tournament championship all season long, though they have struggled to find consistency. With leading scorer C.J. Wilcox in the midst of a bad cold and still wearing a walking boot, those chances seem to have evaporated.
Despite struggling to walk–and breathe, for that matter, Wilcox told the Seattle Times he will be ready for the Pac-12 Conference Tournament. His optimism is commendable, but may be a little naive.
“I’m a little nervous with the four-games-in-four-days thing as far as my foot goes. Other than that, I’m ready to go,” Wilcox said following practice.
Without Wilcox, who is averaging over 16 points per game for the Huskies, Washington doesn’t stand a chance against the tough alignment of Pac-12 opponents. The Huskies could even fall to in-state rival Washington State in the first round of tournament play.
This battered version of Wilcox will be asked to face off against PAC-12 Player of the Week Brock Motum, who was also given Pac-12 second-team honors Monday. Motum and Wilcox were the only players on their respective teams to receive any postseason awards.
Not only is Wilcox hurt and sick, he is also recovering from his worst shooting slump of the season. In the last 11 games, he has converted only 20.7 percent of his three-pointers, and has seen two points fall of his game average of 18.5.
With tournament play beginning Wednesday, Washington will need far more than a fragment of Wilcox take make an impact this March.
John Engel is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports, covering the Pac-12 and Mountain West conferences. John works for ESPNLA 710 AM radio in addition to Rant Sports. Follow: @engelsportsguy.