(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)
Having lost three of their top four scorers due to graduation, the Washington Huskies could not afford to lose leading scorer C.J. Wilcox to the next level.
Wilcox averaged 16.8 points and 4.3 rebounds for Lorenzo Romar’s team last season, and the 2013-14 roster will feature newcomers and role players who would benefit from playing alongside a player as experienced as Wilcox.
Luckily for the Huskies that will be the case, as Wilcox has decided to return to school for his fifth season (he redshirted as a freshman).
Wilcox, named team MVP at their end of season banquet, was a second team All-Pac-12 selection and managed to generate some second round buzz among those who evaluate NBA prospects.
But after taking time to consider his options with his father the Pleasant Grove, Utah native ultimately decided that a fifth year in Seattle was the best path to take.
“The main thing is that my dad and I were talking and thinking back to about when I first got here and the vision to redshirt my first year and have that last year to become the best player that I can be and lead the team,” Wilcox said.
“We were not expecting the NBA to come into the picture so fast. That kind of got off track and we lost track of the vision. We started to seriously consider it and meeting with agents. But at the end of the day we went back and wanted to finish what we started and come back for my fifth year and lead the team.”
Wilcox, who is just 20 three-pointers away from overtaking Ryan Appleby (231) as the program’s all-time leader in made three-pointers, will combine with redshirt sophomore Andrew Andrews and freshman Nigel Williams-Goss to form a solid perimeter trio next season.
And even with the possibility of UNLV transfer Mike Moser joining the program (Moser is also considering Oregon according to multiple reports) the Huskies already have two talented transfers who will take the floor in 2013.
Perris Blackwell, who was one of the best front cout players in the WCC during his time at San Francisco, and 6-10 FIU transfer Gilles Dierickx are both eligible and will help Washington account for the graduation of center Aziz N’diaye.
Is this all enough to make the Huskies a factor in the Pac-12 race (Arizona and Colorado should be the preseason favorites)? That remains to be seen, but Washington stands a much better chance of having an impact thanks to the return of Wilcox.