Malik Dime out 4-5 weeks with injury

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar confirmed Tuesday that senior center Malik Dime broke his right pinky finger in their 87-61 win over Oregon State, and will be out 4-5 weeks.

On Malik Dime “Malik (Dime) has a broken finger. He’s probably going to be out 4-5 weeks I would say. When he’s actually - you know you always hope for the best in those situations. Right now that’s kind of what we’re doing. It’s not season ending but he will miss a few games.”

Which finger? “Yeah. It’s the pinky.”

Was it the right hand? “Yes.”

Did you explore the possibility of him playing through it? ‘It’s one of those situations where he would be in too much pain. He could probably injure someone else because he would have to be casted probably to play. A regular soft-splint wouldn’t protect it. If there was a way around it, we would do it, but everything was explored.”

Is his return going to be just before the PAC-12 tournament? “It would be before that. It would be before that. Thank goodness it’s only two weeks, it’s not four weeks left in conference. He’ll be back before the PAC-12 tournament.”

How big was it that Matthew Atewe got some time against OSU now that he’s going to see his minutes increase? “It was good for Matt (Matthew Atewe) to go in and play and do well just to gain some game confidence with it. You always hate for a situation like this to occur, but hopefully he can step in. Him and Malik are two different players, but hopefully it will work.”

Will Matthew Atewe play the role that Malik Dime played? “We’ll figure it out by the time we play in a couple of days. Obviously both of them will play quite a bit.”

What do you see in Cal? “Probably the stingiest defensive team we’ve played. In terms of just pure, not a lot of gimmicks, just pure defense, they’re the best defensive team we’ve played against. They have very good size in their front line. They’re an older - they start a freshman point guard - but aside form that they’re an older team. Ivan Rabb is only a sophomore, but you’re talking about a returning all-conference sophomore that was a projected lottery pick last year. Now he’s back. You don’t see that very often in college basketball. Even though he’s still younger he’s an outstanding basketball player.”

How hard will it be to defend Cal’s front line without Malik Dime? “Well Malik is a tremendous shot blocker, but Matt can also block shots. Matt is physically strong and he’s athletic. It will just be a different way, but hopefully he can step in along with Sam (Timmins) and do a good job on guys with size.”

How has Markelle Fultz improved since he got here? “He was so good from day one. I just think defensively he’s gotten better. That would probably be it. He just understands. He’s probably more focused defensively. That would be the area.”

Is there a noticeable difference between PAC-12 road games and road games against teams like Gonzaga or TCU? “The teams are so familiar with you from the outset that it makes it tougher. Gonzaga’s crowd was the best crowd that we’ve played in front of this year on the road. The crowds are more like that in conference. More people come out. Football season is over and the games are more well attended in conference play. A little more of a festive atmosphere in conference play.”

Are you more equipped to win a road game than you were against Gonzaga? “Yeah we’ve had that experience and we’re a little older, a little more mature although it’s only a month. We’ve played a lot of games since then and we remember that experience. It’s not going to be a first for us this time. There will be more people because the arena is bigger, but I don’t know if it will be any louder. It was pretty festive in there. That’s not a knock on Cal’s crowd at all. It’s just Gonzaga’s crowd is at a high level.”


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