Audio: Head coach Lorenzo Romar talks about the health of guards Tony Wroten and C.J. Wilcox, the strong minutes of Shawn Kemp Jr. and what to expect from USC on Saturday night. Audio available here.
by Curtis Crabtree
MONTLAKE - Tony Wroten suffered a thigh contusion early in the first half of Washington's 71-69 win over UCLA on Thursday night and his status for Saturday against USC still isn't clear.
Head coach Lorenzo Romar said Wroten was injured when attempting a layup close to three minutes into the game. Wroten missed the shot but Terrance Ross followed for a dunk on the play. UCLA coach Ben Howland called timeout after the play and Wroten hobbled back to the bench.
Wroten also got hit in the calf later in the half and Romar said he felt that it slowed Wroten a little during the game.
Romar said he still hadn't spoken with trainers to know what Wroten's status would be but mentioned that Wroten was able to play through a bruised tailbone and a pair of banged up elbows a couple weeks ago and praised his toughness.
Wroten was able to play most of the game and so it would still be surprising to see him held out against USC.
C.J. Wilcox played 26 minutes again Thursday after playing 26 minutes against Arizona last Saturday. Romar said that Wilcox has the ability to play that many minutes right now despite the stress fracture in his leg.
Romar said he had yet to speak to Wilcox on Friday to see how he was feeling so he will still likely be a game-time decision Saturday against the Trojans. Wilcox isn't practicing to limit the pounding on his leg.
Romar said the 11 minutes played by Shawn Kemp Jr. were the best he's played all year. With Aziz N'Diaye with two early fouls and UCLA center Joshua Smith holding a decided size advantage over Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Romar elected to go with Kemp instead.
His 11 minutes were the most he'd played since getting 11 minutes against Houston Baptist on Nov. 25 and 10 minutes against UC-Santa Barbara on Dec. 16.
Kemp finished 2 of 3 from the field with two dunks and a pair of rebounds, but Romar was impressed with the defensive effort as well.
More thoughts from Romar are available in the podcast available at the top of the page...