University of Washington basketball coach Lorenzo Romar said Tuesday during his weekly press conference that he just can’t predict when he will have senior Scott Suggs and sophomore Shawn Kemp Jr., available to his 4-3 team that has struggled from a lack of depth in the early part of the season. Suggs has missed three consecutive games with plantar fascitis in his right foot and Kemp Jr., hasn’t played at all due to a knee injury.
“It’s hard for to predict what’s going to happen,” Romar said. “An update (on their conditions) won’t be given until the morning after they have practiced, and they did not practice today. If Scott goes through everything this week there is a chance he could play Saturday. But right now we just don’t know.”
When Kemp sustained his injury, the expectation was that he wouldn’t return to the team until the start of Pac-12 play (Jan. 5 vs. Washington State). Romar indicated that nothing that’s happened since has changed that.
“It will help us defensively when we have Shawn around the rim,” Romar said. “We’ll just have more depth defensively (with Kemp and Suggs) and will be able to sustain our defense for a longer period of time. Obviously, offensively, those guys are going to provide points for us.”
The Huskies, who staged a big rally Sunday and narrowly escaped with a 74-72 win over Cal-State Fullerton of the Big West, will play the University of Nevada Saturday at 5 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Wolfpack rallied to beat the Huskies 76-73 in overtime last year when Washington turned the ball over 21 times and failed to foul as instructed on the final defensive possession of regulation.
Romar has often cited that loss, and a few others, as among the reasons his club failed to make the NCAA Tournament despite winning the Pac-12 regular-season championship.
“Nevada is still very explosive,” Romar said. “We have to come out motivated to play better in the first half than we played in the last game.”
NOTES: Former UW guard Tony Wroten, the 25th overall pick in the NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies, made his Development League debut for the Reno Bighorns last Sunday and scored 21 points in a 95-79 loss to the Santa Cruz Warriors in a game witnessed by 1,807. Wroten hit 6 of 15 shots from two-point range but, as he did last year with UW, had trouble from 3-point range and at the free throw line. Wroten went 0-for-3 behind the arc and missed nine of his 18 foul shots.