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Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Basketball: End-of-year capsules, No. 3

By Pedro Moura

Over the next two weeks, we're going over the 10 scholarship basketball players who were on USC's 2010-2011 roster -- one by one, Monday-Friday -- and recap their accomplishments in the now-completed season, no matter how big or how small. We began Monday with rising redshirt junior forward Aaron Fuller and continued Tuesday with rising redshirt sophomore Evan Smith, calling the players by the years they will be next season.

Third up is rising sophomore Curtis Washington.

We knew coming into the season that Washington wasn't going to play much. That is to be expected when an 18-year-old first-year freshman says, just months before his first college game, what Washington said last summer after one of his first times playing with his new USC teammates at the Sanyo Classic in Hawthorne.

"I'm not that confident in my game yet," he told me then. "I just feel like I'm way behind."

But we didn't know he wasn't going to play hardly at all. The 6-10, 230-pounder, who is clearly athletic but also clearly inexperienced, played in only three games during the 2010-2011 season for a total of 11 minutes and did not record a point.

The three games he played in were USC's three biggest wins of the season, back-to-back November wins over New Mexico State and Cal State Fullerton and a January blowout victory over Stanford. His lone stats of record were one offensive rebound against NMSU and two fouls.

With so few minutes, there is some wonder to why Washington wasn't instead redshirted this season and allowed to develop while retaining his eligibility. Regardless, another offseason could do a lot for his development from this point forward, as he simply hasn't played a lot of high-level competitive basketball.

Every little bit helps, although he won't be needed all that much if Nikola Vucevic does return. A redshirt year in 2011-2012 is also a possibility.

That's it for today. Tomorrow is rising sophomore forward Garrett Jackson.