clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

C.J. Wilcox, more than just a jump shooter

Wilcox was actually the best on the team when it came to finishing at the rim.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the season, there have been dissenting opinions on what C.J. Wilcox was able to do outside of shooting jumpers. Regardless of how somebody viewed his game outside of the jumper, it was hard to argue that he didn't have the best shot in the entire conference .

Some believed that Wilcox's whole offensive game was only his ability to stroke it from deep. That was definitely his best weapon - his release was lightning-quick, he could shoot it stepping in on a one-two or on a hop, he could pull up from near-NBA range. The jumper had versatility that allowed it to be used in any circumstance.

Some saw just how great this skill was and labeled him a one-trick pony. He could shoot extremely well but didn't have the offensive versatility of Roberto Nelson, the conference's leading scorer. While it is true that Wilcox didn't have the same abilities of Nelson, to say that Wilcox's only weapon is his jumper is untrue.

According to, C.J. Wilcox was second on the Huskies in field goal percentage at the rim at 70.9 percent. The only player who is ahead of him is Shawn Kemp Jr. (80.3 percent), whose only offense at the rim is open dunks, it seems. The average among Division-I is a 60.9 percent conversion rate at the cup.

Wilcox prefers driving and finishing with his left hand. Todd Dybas of the Tacoma News Tribune always mentioned, that Wilcox finished with his left hand. Wilcox shoots right-handed, but in everything else in life, he uses his left. Either Dybas or Gregg Bell wrote the story, but when Wilcox was in middle school (I think) his dad made him practice shooting with his left and his right hand. He became equally proficient with each, though he always preferred finishing left.

His dad asked him which one he liked shooting better with, and a young Wilcox responded by choosing his right hand. Ever since then, Wilcox has been a right-handed shooter.

He has used that left hand driving to the basket successfully, as evidenced by his percentage when he gets to the rim. The biggest difference between the more-efficient Kemp at the rim and Wilcox, is that Wilcox doesn't have to be set up by a teammate to get his points at the rim. Still according to, 42.9 percent of Wilcox's shots at the rim were assisted on. It is safe to assume that the rest of those came in transition or off of drives to the basket. Also, that number is very close to the D-I average.

Kemp? 83.7 percent. Wilcox did have a higher percentage-assisted at the rim than three other Huskies: Andrew Andrews (crazy low 18.8 percent), Mike Anderson (30.8 percent) and Nigel Williams-Goss (32.1 percent).

There is one caveat with the numbers that could be pointed out, and that is that Wilcox only attempted 18.2 percent of his shots at the rim, well below anybody on the team who garnered regular minutes. The counter to that is that he was still Washington's most efficient scorer. His eFG% was tops on the team at 55.6 percent, and his true shooting percentage, factoring in free throw percentage as well with a convoluted formula, was also the team's best.

Wilcox isn't an elite finisher at the rim, but he is well above-average. With how good his jumper is, it doesn't really matter how well he finishes, though it is another tool in his kit. The ability to finish at the rim combined with his prowess as a shooter is why he was so good, and so efficient, on offense this season.

You can follow Ben on Twitter here.