Feb. 26, 2010
Freshman C.J. Wilcox is following a trend that is more and more rare in college basketball, but has been done in three-straight season by Husky players: he is redshirting. Like Darnell Gant (2008) and Tyreese Breshers (2009) before him, Wilcox is sitting out his first year of college to help adjust to college life and the college game. There is little doubt that Wilcox could have helped the Huskies this season with his outside shot, close-out defense and ability to spread zone defenses, but sitting on the sidelines should pay dividends down the road for Lorenzo Romar. GoHuskies.com caught up with the native of Pleasant Grove, Utah to catch up on his progress.
GoHuskies.com: How difficult has it been for you to practice but not play this season?
C.J. Wilcox: "Practices have been okay, I have been part of everything. However, as the season went on, games became hard to watch - especially in the losses when I wanted to help out. Overall it has been a good experience, and I've learned a lot."
GH.com: What part of the game did you need to improve the most in?
CW: "Probably the speed and the strength of the game. When I first got here it was a bit of an adjustment but over time it got easier. I have gained about 13 pounds since I've been here. Hopefully it's all muscle."
GH.com: What have you been working on most?
CW: "When I work with the coaches I have been working mostly on my shooting. But personally, I have been mainly working on my ball handing, so that I can get my hands on the ball in more pressure situations."
GH.com: Who would you compare you game to?
CW: "Not sure who, but I just take open shots and usually don't take any bad shots, or create my own shots. I haven't really improved my range, it is probably going to stay the same for a while but my range is probably to the top of the W somewhere."
GH.com: Are you starting to get excited as the year is starting to end, and it is coming closer to your debut?
CW: "I'm definitely getting excited for my debut, and to start working again this summer. To know that I am going to play will make me work a lot harder."
GH.com: Who has taken you under their wing the most on the team?
CW: "Elston [Turner] has helped me out a lot in practices and everything. But everyone kind of chips in when I'm doing something wrong, they'll tell you and let you know."
GH.com: How intense was last Saturday's game, the hype around it and the national coverage?
CW: "It's exciting seeing that thing, the ESPN GameDay set in the middle of the court. You know that there are a lot of people watching."
GH.com: Has it been advantageous for you to suit up for the game and warm up with the team even knowing you know you won't play?
CW: "At first, in the beginning of the season, I wasn't dressing up, which was kind of boring, but then I got to warm up and see how focused they get and everything."
GH.com: At the end of the bench, are you and Brendan Sherrer become good friends as you wait and bide your time?
CW: "Me, him and Clarence [Trent] always have a little thing that we do at the end of the bench, which is always good. I try to be supportive to the team and keep them mentally into the game and shout out things we see on the court."