BY Bob Sherwin 09:23AM 12/28/2010

Holiday, Overton not 100 percent for USC

Injuries are limiting the two UW seniors, Justin Holiday and Venoy Overton, from full participation

Washington senior Justin Holiday won't be 100 percent for the start of the Pac-10 season. (Drew McKenzie/Sportspress Northwest)

Washington begins Pac-10 play Wednesday at less than full strength. It likely will have limited play from two of its most critical pieces, defensive specialist, senior guard Venoy Overton, and steady senior forward Justin Holiday.

Overton hyper-extended his left leg a week ago Monday in practice. It caused him to miss last Wednesday’s game against Nevada. He had played in 114 straight games.

“I’m still not as quick as I can be and still have little aches in there,” said Overton, who has had a series of pesky injuries. “I say about Wednesday I’ll be fine.”

Maybe not. Even he admits that “injury-wise, I’m 75 to 80 percent. It’s tough to push off my left leg.”

UW Coach Lorenzo Romar said for Overton “it’s about gaining confidence in it (leg). He might feel a slight tweet and just not feel as confident with it.”

Overton, considered by many to be among the top defensive players in the nation, has not had a unfettered senior season. He tore a hamstring just before training camp and missed virtually all of the preseason. He then fell on his tailbone Nov. 16 against Eastern Washington and was hobbled.

Though 11 games, he has not had the defensive impact as he did last season.

“He’s a big part of our game,” Romar said. “We’ve seen him change games at time. So if you’re without a game-changer, obviously that can impact your team.”

Holiday sprained his right ankle with 5:04 left in the Nevada. He has been limited in practice. Like Overton, he’s unable to push off the leg with a strong move.

“He tells me it’s weaker, so he can’t really push off like he’d like to,” Romar said. “We’re still a couple days away.”

But a limited Holiday would put the Huskies at a disadvantage. As Romar said, “he’s been probably our most consistent player.”

Holiday, who has started all 11 games, is averaging 12.6 points per game, shooting 53.6 percent. He is shooting 48.6 (17 of 35) from three-point range and is a 81 percent free-throw shooters. He also averages 6.2 rebounds per game and leads the team in steals with 24.

Romar said that “I don’t sees any reason why they won’t be on the floor when we play USC.” He just doesn’t know how long they can go and how effective they can be.


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