TUCSON, Ariz. – It’s all about the legs.
If they’re OK, then Venoy Overton is OK. And for so long, his legs were not OK.
They were bruised and battered, which robbed the University of Washington guard of his quickness and confidence.
Without his legs, Overton said he was less than average and not the ballhawking, annoying defensive menace who tormented Pac-10 guards the previous three basketball seasons.
Overton’s recent return to health is timely for Washington, which faces No. 12 University of Arizona today without starting junior guard Scott Suggs.
Suggs strained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee and will miss at least the next three games, leaving the Huskies without their best 3-point shooter.
To fill the void in the starting lineup, coach Lorenzo Romar is turning to Overton again.
He could have given redshirt freshman C.J. Wilcox or freshman Terrence Ross their first start, but, for now, Romar has chosen the 6-foot, 185-pound senior.
Several factors contributed to the decision, including the fact Overton has started 38 games.
“We’re on the road, (and) he’s been in this situation before,” Romar said. “And he’s playing well.
“If it was a different game, a different scenario we might go with someone else. C.J. is playing really well. Terrence Ross is arguably our most talented player. So you could have someone else.”
When Abdul Gaddy suffered a season-ending knee injury Jan. 4, Overton moved into the starting lineup and started three games before being replaced by Suggs.
At the time, Overton was in the middle of a season-long slump that he attributes to a litany of injuries.
Through the struggles, Overton believed things would get better.
“Basically, time was going to tell,” he said. “I knew I wasn’t going to play like this the whole season. I knew it was going to change.”
In the past three games, Overton has averaged 10 points, 5.3 assists and 3.6 rebounds.