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Originally published Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 7:09 PM

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Huskies will redshirt freshman guard C.J. Wilcox

Coach Lorenzo Romar said Wilcox could have contributed this season, but move is best for the future.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Hardly anyone close to the program disputes newcomer C.J. Wilcox is the best perimeter shooter on the Washington men's basketball team.

For a team like the 14th-ranked Huskies, which was ninth in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting percentage last season, it's a skill that could have guaranteed him minutes in a crowded rotation.

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar, however, talked about redshirting the freshman three-point specialist during the recruiting process and Tuesday decided it was the best decision for the Huskies and Wilcox.

"In the big picture for his best interest and our best interest, I think it's probably good for him to redshirt," Romar said. "He's a rare breed that understands that. It doesn't mean that he's not any good."

Wilcox, a 6-foot-5, 180-pound guard from Pleasant Grove, Utah, said he wants to improve his strength and overall game this season.

"Now I can just kind of focus," he said. "I'm not worried about if I'm going to do it or not. It's done, so I can just start working on trying to be part of this team. It's nice to have it out of the way."

Highly touted point guard Abdul Gaddy and forward Clarence Trent are expected to play as freshmen this season, but it's unclear where Trent fits into a rotation of eight or nine players.

Without Wilcox, the Huskies have 11 scholarship players available. Sophomore guard Elston Turner is the only returner who shot better than 33 percent behind the arc last season.

"The outcome of our season is not going to be determined by just one guy," Romar said. "Whatever contribution [Wilcox playing this season] would be, and I think there would be a contribution, you can't say that's going to be a better contribution than his fifth year, when he's a senior. I just think he'll have a monster year.

"That extra year for him in the big picture is going to be more important."

Washington begins the season Friday against Wright State.

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com

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