Boulder, CO – The Washington Huskies (13-11, 5-6) played the Colorado Buffaloes (18-6, 7-4) in Pac-12 rematch. In the previous game Colorado (then ranked #15) lost star Spencer Dinwiddie (6’7”, Jr.,G) at UW, as well as Tre’Shaun Fletcher (Fr., G). The Huskies went on to beat Colorado 71-54. CU is 3-3 since Dinwiddie’s season-ending knee surgery as he was the team-leader in points, assists, steals, free throw percentage and 3-pt percentage (41 percent). UW is 2-4 in that same stretch going winless on the road but winning both home games.
Senior guard, C.J. Wilcox (6’5”, 195) is the Huskies top player and one of the Pac-12’s best shooters. An effortless sniper, Wicox has long-distance range and is an impressive 43 percent from the 3-point line and 86 percent from the charity stripe. Not one-dimensional, Wilcox is also second on the team in steals and leads the Huskies in blocked shots. He has a very good understanding of getting open (coming off screens) and footwork in creating space to get his shot off over a defender. Although this was a “down” game for him, it is very evident that Wilcox can play and shoot.
At 6’9”, and 275 pounds, senior forward, Perris Blackwell (transfer from San Francisco) leads the Huskies in rebounding at 6.8 rpg while scoring 10.6 ppg. A solid performer with good court understanding to make-up for in what he lacks in explosiveness. Blackwell is the team’s top post-player/post-defender and has 20 blocks to go with 11 steals on the season. Blackwell has soft hands around the basket and a nice touch displayed by his 66 percent from the foul line.
Colorado jumped to an early lead behind an energized crowd and had a 28-13 margin at the 10:00 of the first-half despite playing without starter, Wesley Gordon who is injured and did not suit up. By half-time the score was 48-33 in favor of the Buffaloes with Askia Booker scoring 16 and Xavier Johnson 11 points. CU shot 6-of-10 from the 3-point line and had a +11 rebound margin. The Huskies were led by Nigel Williams-Goss (8 points) as C.J. Wilcox was 0-of-6 from the 3-point line.
The second half was much of the same, although the Buffaloes cooled-off a little from the outside, the UW offense didn’t seem to find it’s rhythm shooting 33.3 FG percent for the game and Colorado winning the rebound battle +13 on their way to an easy 91-65 victory.
Colorado was led by Booker’s 20 points and seven assists, Xavier Johnson’s 27 points and 10 rebounds and Josh Scott’s 21 points and eight rebounds. The Huskies were led by Williams-Goss with 12 points and four rebounds. Wilcox was held to eight points and zero rebounds.
Although only 6’2, Colorado’s Jr. combo-guard, Askia Booker has emerged in Dinwiddie’s absence. Second on the team in scoring at 14.0 ppg while leading in assists and steals, Booker is a dynamic spark-plug with a lightening quick first-step and 3-point range (30 percent on the season). Booker’s advantage on a pick-and-roll is that most big men cannot stay in front of him, so they cannot switch the screen or they must send a second defender. Many will remember Bookers’ game-winning shot against Kansas earlier this season.
Rich Ward is a Correspondent and Scout for NetScouts Basketball.