Huskies elite say C.J. Wilcox best UW shooter ever
With 1,691 points, C.J. Wilcox is standing on the doorstep of greatness, ready to join Husky great Bob Houbregs’ 1700 Club.
Seattle Times staff reporter
OSU @ Washington
2 p.m., Pac 12 Networks
The past greats who played for the Washington men’s basketball team are ready to welcome C.J. Wilcox into one of the program’s most exclusive fraternities
Call it the 1700 Club.
It’s reserved for players who have tallied at least 1,700 points during their Husky careers, which is a mythical line of demarcation separating the elite scorers at UW from everyone else.
“It’s a testament to playing a lot of years of really solid basketball,” said Chris Welp, Washington’s all-time scoring leader with 2,073 points. “You don’t get to 1,700 points by just playing (mediocre).
“You got to continuously work on your game and get better at it. And whoever makes it that far, you’ve proven to be a solid basketball player. ... C.J. has proven that. Hats off to him for an amazing career.”
With 1,691 points, Wilcox is standing on the doorstep of greatness.
His first chance to break the 1,700-point barrier is 2 p.m. Saturday when Washington (12-8, 4-3 Pac-12) plays Oregon State (11-7, 3-3) at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Halfway around the world from Chalon Sur Saone, a city in the Burgundy region of France, Jon Brockman (2006-10), who is second on UW’s all-time scoring list with 1,805 points, is keeping tabs on Wilcox’s progress.
“I love C.J.’s game,” Brockman wrote in an email. “I think what I love the most is his even keel, almost silent assassin type attitude. He seems to always be composed and doesn’t let much get to him.”
Quincy Pondexter (2007-10), who is third on UW’s all-time scoring list at 1,786 points, recognized there was something different about the skinny, shy teenager from Pleasant Grove, Utah when they met five years ago.
“I remember him on his recruiting visit and the first week he got here, he was knocking down shots,” Pondexter said.
Pondexter watched Thursday’s 80-76 win over Oregon from courtside seats and witnessed Wilcox seal the win with a three-point dagger in the final minute.
“He’s still a quiet guy, but right now he’s learning the game,” Pondexter said. “He’s so much more mature than a lot of players out there. He knows it really well at a professional level. What’s different about him now is he just goes and gets it.”
Bob Houbregs, 81, founded the 1700 Club when he amassed 1,774 points during his three-year career (1951-53) when freshman weren’t allowed to play.
The Husky legend said the 6-5 senior shooting guard wearing No. 23 is the best shooter to ever put on a Washington uniform.
“I’ve watched C.J. with great joy,” Houbregs said. “I love the way he shoots that ball. He’s got a great shooting touch. It’s unbelievable from where he shoots it. Not many people can do that.”
Like Houbregs, Todd MacCulloch (1996-99), who is fifth on the UW all-time scoring list with 1,743 points, tallied most of his baskets at the rim.
“Traditionally, the big guys did the scoring and that’s how it’s been at Washington,” Houbregs said. “I’m sure C.J. can do that, but he’s made his mark as a tremendous shooter who in my opinion is better than anyone else that’s ever played here.”
If Isaiah Thomas (2008-11) had returned for his senior year, then he would have rewritten the records books and likely unseated Welp at the top of the scoring list.
However, he entered the 2011 NBA draft after his junior year and sits in sixth place with 1,721 points.
Thomas is also the only person in the 1700 Club who played with Wilcox. They were teammates on the UW team that won the Pac-10 Tournament in 2011 and advanced to the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament.
“Personality wise they’re different, and they went about their business in different ways,” coach Lorenzo Romar said.
“But man when the game is on the line, you wouldn’t go wrong too many times if you put the ball in their hands.”
Eldridge Recasner (1987-90), who is seventh on UW’s all-time scoring list with 1,700 points said he’s honored to be mentioned in the same sentence as Wilcox.
“There’s only seven — and soon to be eight — guys who have ever scored that many points in history of Washington,” Recasner said.
“Detlef Schrempf and Brandon Roy — two guys who if you’re asking me are the best to ever to play at UW — but they aren’t on this list. That’s how special it is.”
|The 1700 Club|
|Only seven players in the history of the Washington men’s basketball program have scored at least 1,700 points. Senior guard C.J. Wilcox is poised to enter the exclusive fraternity. If he plays 12 more games, which would include just one postseason game, he’s on pace to finish second on UW’s all-time scoring list. Here’s a look at the men he’s chasing.|
|1. Chris Welp||1984-87||129||820-1,440||.569||16.1||2,073|
|2. Jon Brockman||2006-09||131||718-1345||.534||13.8||1,805|
|3. Quincy Pondexter||2007-10||136||652-1,297||.503||13.1||1,786|
|4. Bob Houbregs||1951-53||91||669-1,430||.468||19.5||1,774|
|5. Todd MacCulloch||1996-99||115||702-1,058||.664||15.2||1,743|
|6. Isaiah Thomas||2008-11||105||554-1,301||.426||16.4||1,721|
|7. Eldridge Recasner||1987-90||117||601-1,250||.481||14.5||1,700|
|8. C.J. Wilcox||2011-||119||576-1,330||.433||14.2||1,691|
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @percyallen.