Texas Tech head coach Grant McCasland gives update on Warren Washington and Darrion Williams ahead of March Madness

Will Darrion Williams and Warren Washington be able to play in Texas Tech's first-round game against NC State? Head coach Grant McCasland provides an update.

Mar 15, 2024; Kansas City, MO, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders coach Grant McCasland watches game play
Mar 15, 2024; Kansas City, MO, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders coach Grant McCasland watches game play / William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday, Texas Tech basketball head coach Grant McCasland met with the media after the Red Raiders were announced as the No. 6 seed in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament. Naturally, many wanted to get an update on the health of forward Darrion Williams and center Warren Washington.

"Darrion’s improved over the past couple of days," McCasland said, "and Warren has started to practice. And I can tell you this, our anticipation is that we would have [Washington] as close to full speed as we can with practices under his belt before we play him in a game and that's to be determined. But he has been practicing so we've gotten some opportunities to see him move and I'm encouraged but I don't think we'll ever know until we get out there and go live as to how effective he'll be."

Of course, the health of these two Red Raiders is top of mind heading into the NCAA Tournament. Williams, the far more likely player to be ready for Thursday's tip-off, injured his ankle in the first half of Texas Tech's victory over BYU in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday of last week.

On the play, he was in an awkward crouching position while fighting for the basketball. It appeared that in the process of the play, he rolled his ankle, an injury that forced him to receive medical treatment in the Red Raider locker room.

Though Williams would return to the game, he was noticeably limping when he did. In all, he would play 28 minutes but score only seven points and grab four rebounds during that time. That brought an end to a streak of ten straight games in which he had scored at least 10 points.

In Friday's semifinal matchup with No. 1 Houston, Williams was held out of the game for precautionary reasons. It was the first game he's missed all season long.

As for Washington, he has appeared in only one game since injuring his foot against Kansas on February 12 in Lubbock. Like Williams, Washington did return to that game against the Jayhawks, but only briefly. Since then, his only action came against UCF twelve days later.

Against the Knights in Orlando, the 7-footer was able to play only 13 minutes grabbing two rebounds but failing to register a point. That February 24th game was the last time Washington has stepped onto the floor during a game.

Tech desperately needs all hands on deck by Thursday given the size that NC State will bring to the table. However, McCasland's remarks don't sound too encouraging when it comes to Washington's status.

Time will tell, though. Hopefully, both Williams and Washington will be able to play because the former leads Texas Tech with nine double-doubles this year while the latter is second on the team in rebounding at 7.4 per game. Both will be needed if the Red Raiders are going to make any noise in the NCAA Tournament.