Washington junior guard Joel Smith was still on crutches before Wednesday's 87-66 win over Idaho, a week after suffering another injury...

Washington junior guard Joel Smith was still on crutches before Wednesday’s 87-66 win over Idaho, a week after suffering another injury to his troublesome right foot, an ailment that will have him out until at least January.

But even though he has a redshirt year available, Smith said that’s nothing he wants to do.

“I can’t see myself waiting [a year],” Smith said. “January’s a good time to come back. I feel like I can help this team a lot.”

Smith, who sat out the first month of the season with a stress fracture, was ready to return before being re-injured in practice a week ago when teammate Harvey Perry landed on him. Smith said the injury “is in the same spot but it’s not the same [injury].”

He said a pin inserted into the foot during surgery to repair the first injury apparently prevented the second injury from being more serious.

“The screw saved my foot from being broken again,” he said.

Freshman Oliver makes starting debut

Tuesday’s game at a glance

Player of the game: Washington freshman forward Quincy Pondexter displayed his full arsenal of offensive moves in leading the Huskies with a career-high 25 points. He hit two three-pointers, but also got a number of buckets inside.

Turning point: Down 27-24 with 8:08 left in the first half, Washington went on a 14-2 run to take a 38-29 halftime lead. Freshman guard Adrian Oliver capped the run with a pair of jumpers in the final 1:07 of the half.

Next: Southern Utah, Monday, Edmundson Pavilion, 7 p.m.

Freshman guard Adrian Oliver got the first start of his UW career against the Vandals, taking the place of Ryan Appleby.

Oliver struggled through much of the first half before scoring four points in the final 1:07 of the first half as the Huskies finally began to distance themselves.

Appleby had 11 points — six in the first half — while Oliver finished with seven.

Coach Lorenzo Romar said he liked the lineup and will stay with it for at least another game.


Rivals.com reported that Isaiah Thomas, who was the Seattle Times 4A Player of the Year last season at Curtis High, will likely spend two years in prep school before beginning his college career. Thomas has transferred to South Kent (Conn.) School to improve his academics. Thomas told The Times earlier this month he still intends to become a Husky.