The scouting report on Washington says to never leave C. J. Wilcox alone when the Huskies have the ball because the junior guard is one...
The scouting report on Washington says to never leave C.J. Wilcox alone when the Huskies have the ball because the junior guard is one of the best shooters in the Pac-12.
But when Scott Suggs plays like he did Thursday against Seattle University, opponents must make a difficult choice.
“It’s just tough to match up,” Wilcox said. “They have to pick their poison — either go with him or with me.”
The Redhawks paid close attention to Wilcox and held the Pac-12’s second-leading scorer to 12 points — seven shy of his average — on 5-for-10 shooting.
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However, Suggs took advantage of soft defensive coverage and scored a career-high 24 in UW’s 87-74 win before 6,137 at KeyArena.
“He had maybe his best game as a Husky tonight,” coach Lorenzo Romar said of Suggs. “What you couldn’t see was he showed unbelievable leadership out there on the floor.
“He was efficient. His leadership. … He was just dialed in. He made good defensive plays. Just was all-around good.”
Despite leg cramps, Suggs connected on 7 of 10 shots, 2 of 4 three-point attempts and made all eight free throws. He also had five rebounds, two assists and two steals in 33 minutes.
“I just got good looks and I was able to knock them down,” Suggs said. “They did a good job of finding me. Once we broke the press, we got some pretty good shots.”
The Redhawks (3-4) gambled on defense and committed wholeheartedly to a full-court press that only truly worked for a few minutes early in the second half.
Mostly, the Huskies (5-4) broke the press with deft passing and aggressive playmaking that either led to Aziz N’Diaye converting layups, or open shots for Wilcox and Suggs.
“With them trapping, he was able to capitalize,” Wilcox said of Suggs. “He’s always been able to score. He’s had a lot of players in front of him. We both have. It’s kind of his year to break out, and it’s going well.”
Suggs, a senior co-captain, redshirted last season after breaking a bone in his right foot. His five-year UW career has been rife with injuries, and this season has been no different.
In the season’s second game, he suffered a concussion against Albany and played two minutes. He also missed three games due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
With Suggs out, Wilcox took over the scoring load.
Last Saturday, Suggs returned and had a personal-best 19 points in a 76-73 loss to Nevada.
His performance against Seattle U was even better.
Suggs attacked the rim and converted layups or drew fouls. He handled the ball against SU’s press and committed just one turnover.
But mainly he drilled jumper after jumper on the perimeter.
“I’m really happy for him,” Wilcox said. “It’s his last year and he’s finally getting the opportunity he’s earned these past couple of years.”
Suggs is averaging 16.2 points, nine more than his average two seasons ago when he was a junior.
“I just wanted to be able to have a full year for my last year,” Suggs said. “I’ve had a couple of injuries, but I feel like overall it’s been pretty good.”
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @percyallen