Dec 29, 2012; Hartford, CT, USA; Washington Huskies guard C.J. Wilcox (23) shoots the ball against the Connecticut Huskies during the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
After ailing from a stress fracture in his foot through the last half of the 2012-2013 season, Washington Huskies’ guard C.J. Wilcox had surgery on his left foot Friday morning. In order to repair the stress fracture, Wilcox had his fifth metatarsal stabilized in the procedure. Washington called the surgery a success and said Wilcox is on track to return for the 2013-2014 season at 100 percent.
Although Wilcox refuses to blame his late season struggles on the stress fracture, his production clearly declined after the loss at UCLA after which he revealed the injury. He scored 15 points in the game, but in the two that followed, scored just 17 points combined. Before those, he had only failed to record double figures once, against UConn.
He was still able to score — putting up 20-plus points three times — but it normally required more shots. In the 23 games before the injury, Wilcox shot below 30 percent just three times, compared with five times in 11 games after it.
The decline in shooting — Wilcox’s best skill — resulted in him plummeting on draft boards. There is a very good chance that if he had stayed healthy, he would not be returning next season. Many pegged him as a mid-to-late first round pick for much of the season, but by the end of the season, he had fallen out of the top-60 on some lists.
Despite the lack of production in the stretch run, Wilcox still averaged 16.8 points per game, good for sixth in the conference. At one point he was at the top of that list, just as he is expected to be next season.
With Nigel Williams-Goss to dish him the ball, there should not be much drop off from the point guard position next season, allowing Wilcox to get as many, if not more, open shots.
A healthy Wilcox is good news for everybody but the Huskies’ opponents.