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Washington coach Lorenzo Romar discusses Wilcox, Utes (video)

Published January 6, 2012 3:32 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Who saw this coming? The Utes enter Saturday's game against Washington coming off a win, while the Huskies were the victims of a lopsided loss at Colorado.

Perhaps the most interesting thing for Ute fans will be watching Husky guard C.J. Wilcox, who was recruited out of high school by both Washington and the Jim Boylen-era Utes.

After an afternoon practice, Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said Wilcox seems focused on the game as opposed to his homecoming.

"I'm sure he's looking forward to playing that game," Romar said. "Sometimes you're so about it that you think too much and try to do too much. CJ doesn't have that personality so I think he'll be very dialed in."

It's easy to hear the admiration Romar has for Wilcox. Romar buttressed an explanation of how the Huskies' are oftentimes too quick to shoot and not forcing other teams to play defense with, "This doesn't apply to C.J."

Wilcox has become, in some ways, Washington's most important player. He now comes off the bench, and remains the Huskies' second-leading scorer behind freshman phenom Tony Wroten.

Friday around the Huskies, though, was all very serious. There's a sense of urgency for one of the Pac-12's premier programs after losing all five of their road games.

That reached it's peak Thursday in Boulder, where the Huskies lost to Colorado 87-69.

Just as unexpected - or more so - was the Utes' 62-60 win over Washington State just five days after losing by 40 at Colorado.

Romar said the result against the Cougars surprised him.

"It did, just because of what had happened to last week," he said. "But again this is something we can relate to what happened last week was on the road, what happened yesterday was here."

Romar said the Utes' success has been a result of the very things that Larry Krystkowiak promised throughout the season would be the Utes' staples.

I don't know if it's as much a concern, but what's impressive is how hard they play and how much energy they play with and how physical they are."

— Bill Oram