Lorenzo is the best, among UW coaches in the modern era, at putting guys in pro basketball as well and it's not even close. Every kid that is good enough to play at a Pac-12 level believes when they are in high school that they can play pro and Romar's track record does nothing if not to make it easier to convince the guys he wants to come to or stay in Seattle. On Thursday basketball.realgm.com listed Lorenzo 6th overall in recruiting and player development (4th in development and 19th in recruiting). What is more impressive than the ballooning number of pros that he has turned out (or is about to), is that Romar has now this season more than any other learned to teach young guys to gut it out on the road. Having potential NBA talent like Wroten, Ross and Wilcox helps, but not one is an upperclassman and usually it is next to impossible to win championships with youth, unless you are (without naming names) dealing with agents to load up on ready for prime time pros.

On Tuesday Keegan Hamilton of the Seattle Weekly asked the question, "Could This Season Be Lorenzo Romar's Best Performance as UW Basketball Coach?". I'll venture my opinion and say that it definitely has, if UW gets a sweep this weekend in LA. On Wednesday Romar appeared on 710-ESPN Seattle and talked to Bob and Groz about his team. I've been watching Husky Hoops since the mid-60's, but seriously since 1969-70. I've seen too many teams and coaches that didn't come close to the level of commitment, talent and character of Romar's guys. Even in the best of times, like Tex Winter and Marv Harshman's better moments or a 2-3 year run by Bob Bender, I feel that in general Romar has run a better general program.

That is saying something, considering the pedigree of Winter and Harshman. I will not comment on what the entirety of Andy Russo, Lynn Nance and the last years of Bender were like, as they worse than fell short of Lorenzo's low moments. Tad Boyle took a Colorado team that was picked 10th (wrongly) and have put them into the top end of the Pac-12. Ryan Divish of thenewstribune.com made a good case for Romar getting the award on Tuesday, with cases also made for Boyle and Oregon's Dana Altman. Boyle will likely get that COY award, but if Romar can get a sweep in LA, I will make a lot of noise to the contrary. The Dawgs still must get past the LA schools, not to mention the NCAA committee next Sunday March 11th. Dana O"Neill of ESPN said that "Odds are the Huskies are in but the margin for error is slim" in a chat on Wednesday.

That is a widely held opinion, not only about UW, but the Pac-12 in general this season. On Thursday ESPN's Myron Metcalf said that the Dawgs are "making a legitimate push for an at-large berth". Still no shoe-in status, despite the huge win
over 'Zona the weekend before. Yahoo's Pat Forde went as far as to say on Friday that the Pac-12 was so dismal that it should be a one bid league, though Greg Anthony countered with three bids as a prediction. On Monday UW moved up again with ESPN's Bracketology to a 10 seed, with Cal and Arizona also getting in and Oregon in the "Last Four Out". Husky Haul also weighed into the Pac-12 Bubble discussion on Tuesday, giving Cal a 90% chance of getting in, with UW at 70%, 'Zona 70'% and Oregon 45%, despite UW's hold on first place and sweep of the 'Cats. On Tuesday (along with a list of some of the toughest recent NCAA snubs) cnnsi.com made a good point that, "Washington likely would have an RPI north of 50 and an at-large profile much more representative of the mid-major and quasi-high major teams excluded above".

It's way too early for UW to be thinking about Selection Sunday, though the win at WSU makes it much more likely than not in my opinion that the Dawgs will have their name called. Even more premature is talk of Ross and Wroten in or out of June's NBA Draft, but that will definitely not stop Husky arm chair career advisers. Ross and Wroten were the subject of a column by Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times last Monday in which Brewer made the case that both would do best to stay and work their way up to the high end of the first round while sharpening skills.
Brewer also kept it real and stating that taking the money now is also nothing to scoff at.

"Don't frown on them if they make the jump now. But if they defer the money and stick around, it's a decision that could be both pleasing to the masses and lucrative in the long run."

I agree with this logic, but it is hard to walk away from millions. I think that Tony could work himself into the the top three picks, with his unique abilities, if he were also able to become a 75-80% FT shooter and a three point threat in even the mid-30% range. Terrence is a 6-foot-6 shooting guard/wing and though he is an incredible player, that is not as much of a unique commodity at the NBA level. It used to be pretty unique, but now it even considered average to smallish. The 2nd round, D-League and Europe are littered with guys who were thought to be NBA can't miss players with stats and vitals like Ross.

I do think that Ross has that special something that will make it in the NBA, but I am not signing any NBA checks. Ross, more than Wroten, needs to stay to prepare for the level of competition in the NBA. If I had to pick one from the standpoint of UW fans to go pro though, I would go with Terrence. Scott Suggs will be back, along with a healthy Wilcox and more than likely a new face at the SG/SF position, where Tony's ability to play PG, provide firepower on defense and get to the foul line are not going to be replaced by anyone close to that level. Wroten also needs more work on his all around game than Ross, but who knows what will happen. I think that anything from both going to both staying, to either one splitting is equally likely. I talk to people that I consider local insiders on the hoops beat of all stripes and a lot of people say they know what is going to happen and almost all of them differ.

Last Tuesday Percy Allen of the Seattle Times printed the transcript of a segment of an on air interview for IMG Sports with Lorenzo by Husky play by play guy Bob Rondeau. Romar talked about the various factors which weigh in to the decision
and started off by saying that "There's no secret both of those guys would have an opportunity if they choose to go on and play at the next level this year". I agree and I feel it is down to what is the best way to work the system. Both guys are good students, so I don't think that getting a degree should be a huge consideration. My feeling is that either guy could get their degree around the
schedule of a pro career, like Hawes, Thomas, Brandon Roy and other current and past Husky pros do.

On Wednesday Seth Davis of sportsillustrated.cnn.com stated that from his sources, Ross would be the higher pick at this stage. I agree that Ross is a more consistent all-around player perhaps (FT's, threes, etc.), but a lot of his game has
been contingent on shooting. Tony finds a way to get the easy buckets. As a trio these two with "Mr. Lights Out" Wilcox are dynamite, but I think that for next year losing C.J. or Terrence is going to hurt less with Suggs and red-shirt frosh guard Andrew Andrews coming in than losing Wroten. The way that Tony gets to the rim and either makes a bucket and/or gets fouled or gets a put back and then makes it or gets fouled is one of a kind.

I keep searching my personal hard drive of saved information from watching 40+ years of hoops and it is hard to come up with much. Actually the guy that reminds me the most of Wroten is former 1979 champion Sonic PG and Celtic multi-year champ the late Dennis Johnson, but Tony is much better at this stage in his career and much faster and quicker. Wroten has immense potential. On Wednesday heraldnet.com ran a piece on Tony's abilities dubbing him, "master of the put-back". On Thursday roundballchat.com picked Wroten as the 7th best shooting guard in the nation, but first among freshman and sophomores. On Tuesday GoAzcats said that Tony has the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award "in the bag". Big of them, as they railed on all through the off-season about how Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson (Dennis' nephew), who Wroten vanquished and drubbed on the court were both superior. Everyone is impressed with Tony and his detractors are watching his dust in the distance.

Former Dawgs in the News

Thomas has overcome a number of critics to become a very possible major success story in the NBA. As I said, I still think he would have done best to stay one more year at UW, but perhaps taking the hard road and making it is more his style. I think he thrives in 'me against the world' scenarios and coming up behind Jimmer Freddette in Sacramento as the last pick of the draft is just about tailor made for that credo. Last Monday sacbee.com talked about not only Thomas being a better fit at the point than Freddette, but moving Tyreke Evans to combo guard because of "IT" running the team better, according to coach Keith Smart.

"He's developing and doing a great job with his game. We're moving the ball very well and the point of attack has been a little more secure with him playing there. I needed a director on the floor and he's been that. Two games of doing this, we've been close in both games and so the progress for him is very, very well for him and I'm proud of what he's doing. And he's given me what I needed, a lead guy on the floor to kind of direct and put people in the right spots but also be a vocal guy."

Last Tuesday Thomas scored 24 points against Miami in a loss, including a third quarter where he tied the team record for 3-pointers in a quarter with five and scored 20. Isaiah was more concerned about the loss in the post game interview on YouTube. On Thursday montlakemadness.com compared Thomas' season favorably with NBA flavor the moment Jeremy Lin. Thomas led UW as a freshman, much like what Wroten has done this season, in 2008-09 with back court mate Justin Dentmon. Dentmon had a lesser but promising freshman year successfully playing a solid role alongside Roy and future pro Bobby Jones. The out right Pac-10 title in Dentmon's senior year was according to Romar, the highlight of his tenure at UW, but Justin struggled in the two years in between.

"JD" has, like Isaiah, looked failure in the face and said, 'is that all you got', even to a greater degree than Thomas. Dentmon has not been able to make it to the NBA, as he is not as unique a talent as “IT”, but in the heart category there are a lot of similarities. Dentmon continues to out work the competition, a trait that Isaiah shares and as fate will have it, his dream of the NBA may be in the cards. After an unsuccessful try out with New Orleans in "fall" camp in December, Dentmon has set the D-League on fire once again and as the movie trailers for Charles Bronson “Death Wish” series of action movies in the 70's stated in previews "This time it's personal". On Saturday Dentmon scored 15 points in the D-League all-star game, as he was an important facilitator in the West team's win. Justin is averaging 23 points per game, five assists and four boards so far this NBDL season.

Things have not gone as well for former Husky signee Charles Garcia, who after being selected for the D-League All-Star team himself, failed a drug test. The word is though that Garcia is likely to make decent money in Europe, but it makes one wonder what two years at UW could have produced. Perhaps Romar could have succeeded, where others including former UW assistant Cameron Dollar have not in reaching "Chuck" and getting him to take the game of life seriously. What Romar has done with Wroten and Thomas, who many felt were potential out of control ego characters is a testament to Romar's unique abilities.

Life is not full of second chances, but Lorenzo has been able to help guys get on the right track. He's lost a few, like Doug Wrenn, who went from All Pac-10 to off the team in one season under Lorenzo (not to mention the tragedy of Venoy Overton's senior season), but his successes have far surpassed the disappointments. The passing of former Dawg Greg Jack puts a lot of things in focus. Jack was the next great player from coach Ed Pepple's elite Mercer Island program that had just sent Steve and Jeff (Spencer's dad) Hawes to UW in the early 70's. Jack was a solid role player on teams that featured much bigger names at UW like future 19 year NBA pro and 3-time ring winner with Detroit and Chicago James Edwards. Where Jack excelled at UW (and at MI where he logged a 4.0 GPA) was in the classroom.

In an obituary from the Seattle Times on Tuesday, Percy Allen talked about Greg's 20-year battle in a wheel chair with MS. Somehow thoughts of whether Ross and Wroten stick around or not become pretty insignificant, when you think of the
legacy of Greg Jack. To live a life in a wheel chair and still raise a family and work as an ophthalmologist, makes the kind of challenges that any of the players that I have covered in this article (let alone ever) seem like a wide open layup.

(Jason McCleary of leftcoastrecruiting.com contributed to this post)

(Jason McCleary of leftcoastrecruiting.com contributed to this post)

The Dawgs gutted out a tough 59-55 win over WSU that certainly was aided by more than a little luck. With St. Patrick's Day approaching, coach Lorenzo Romar must have found a four leaf clover on the snowy winding road to Pullman, as the Cougs missed 14-20 free throws, while blowing a double digit lead down the stretch to the Huskies. Though UW received some help at the free throw line, it was not a pretty victory over the Cougars. Some would say WSU "Couged it" like they have as recently as February 16th when junior post Brock Motum missed 4-5 FT's in the final minutes and more antagonistic Husky homers would say is a consistent result.

I think that this problem for the Cougs has more to do with this year's team, which has just had a rash of bad luck and breaks. Great teams overcome those situations, but this year's WSU team had major questions going into the year and
needed good luck, not bad, to even be decent. Losing go-to senior guard Faisal Aden was probably what put the Cougs out of the picture, but it was this same Coug team with Aden that beat Cal in January and could've done a lot more, had he not gone down.

Next year for WSU looks much more promising, with guards Reggie Moore and Mike Lad returning for senior seasons, along with dynamic Devonte Lacy. Add to that freshman Demarquise Johnson, red-shirt junior Dexter Kernich-Drew and Kansas transfer Royce Woolridge at Aden's spot, plus the rest of a very strong 2012
recruiting class AND the return of Motum and junior D.J. Shelton up front and the Cougs should be much better.

On Saturday thenewstribune.com ran a piece on Motum, pointing to him as not only the most improved player in the league, but one of the best. If he improves as much in this off-season as he did this past one, WSU could be sitting on a gold mine. Despite the optimism for next year, it had to hurt WSU fans on senior day to watch the crimson and gray toss it away at the stripe. Maybe UW could have won the game anyway, the way they stormed back after going down 13 with 11-minutes to play on a Motum layup, but I think it would have taken more than a little luck of their own.

From that point UW erased the lead on a made FT by senior post Darnell Gant in a little over three minutes in which WSU did not score. Coming into the game, Washington State led the Pac-12 in free throw shooting in conference play, but only shot 50% from the line against the Dawgs, after going 11-12 in the first half. It was nearly a complete collapse at the foul line for WSU, but in a game where both teams put up ugly numbers, it wasn't your best display of basketball all around.

Much like similar road wins in the conference against Utah, ASU and Oregon State, the Dawgs ground out a win that only a mother could love. At half time the score was 28-28, were it not for four 3's by sophomore guard C.J. Wilcox in a 2 1/2 minute spurt off the bench, WSU would have likely been up by double digits. As far as the Cougars, they had Motum bucket for 10 points, while senior wing Marcus Capers put in work as well all over the stat sheet in front of his parents on senior day.

Wilcox and freshman guard Tony Wroten were the only ones that were assertive in the first half for UW, with Tony finding a way to get to the rim and Wilcox hitting his quick threes. Wroten led all scorers on Saturday with 21 points and added six boards, five assists and two steals. It was really Tony and C.J. stepping up in sophomore guard Terrence Ross' absence that was the reason UW was in a position to cash in on their luck. Wilcox finished with 16 points, but his presence for 33 minutes while still playing with the stress fracture in his femur, was invaluable. C.J. also grabbed five boards and a steal, but was called for a foul on a play that should have an impressive block and was a bad referee call.

That was about it for UW, as those six were the story. freshman Austin Seferian-Jenkins logged four fouls in six minutes, but grabbed a couple of boards. Freshman back-up posts Shawn Kemp Jr. and Desmond Simmons, a former starter, were scoreless. Simmons has kind of dropped off, but Gant was able to fill that role well, even though he only scored three points. Gant grabbed seven boards and more importantly logged 38 strong team oriented minutes, especially on defense against Motum who "only" scored 17 points. It is good to see the musical Darnell finish out his senior stanza on another high note. On Wednesday Gregg Bell of gohuskies.com wrote a feel good piece on Gant and all of the great things that he has accomplished at UW, on and off the court. Darnell is no slouch on the court, just because no one is talking about him as UW's go-to guy. On Tuesday Gant's dunk against ASU weekend before last was chosen in the top-10 dunks this year in the Pac-12 by azcentral.com. Ross and Wroten were also listed, Tony in the top spot for his Shawn Kemp Sr. like running tomahawk, also against the Sun Devils in Seattle.

Though it has been a trend for him to take a while to get going, Ross was held scoreless by the half in Pullman and uncharacteristically got his 3rd foul with nearly eight minutes to play before the break. Ross finished with two points. Terrence fouled out with a little over a minute to play in the game, but he only logged 21 minutes in which he played tentatively and was rather ineffective. Junior guard Abdul Gaddy said to the media the week before the game, "He’s difficult to stop once he gets going" and it seemed the Cougs listened. Though the second half started nicely for UW as Wroten hit a couple of FT's with 18:34 to play, after an early Gant layup to stay with WSU, the Dawgs went lifeless. It was another pair of the dogged Wroten FT's with 11:58 to play that ended a scoreless segment for UW in which WSU scored 12 to build a 13-point lead.

After another Motum bucket made the Coug lead 13 again, UW mounted it's previously mentioned comeback in a game of hard and fast runs. The recurring theme though was the Cougars getting to the line and bricking. Perhaps the Dawgs had what it took on Saturday to win anyway, but it really seemed like they didn't and it was the Cougs missing at the line that took them down. There isn't much to say about this game, other than the Cougars shot themselves in the foot. But in the spirit of that luck of the Irish, it almost seemed like it was destined for the Dawgs to win this game as well as the other ugly road wins (other than the masterpiece in Tucson) in this very strange Pac-12 season. Speaking of luck and leprechauns, former Husky Isaiah Thomas flew into town over the weekend and was front and center to root his team on.

Thomas took time away from his immediate family on Saturday and enjoyed the day with his UW family to watch the win and seeing him there on TV was an inspiration. There are a lot of more pleasant places for a newly celebrated NBA player to take time off at the All-Star break than icy Pullman and displays like this clearly define the kind of commitment that Thomas has to the UW program. Even more than former Dawg Spencer Hawes, who I also roundly criticized for turning pro too early, I stick by my guns that Thomas would have done better to stay one more year, but it makes it hard for UW fans to question a guy with this type of purple passion.

Isaiah was thrilled when With 3:43 left in the game, junior guard and fellow Tacoman Gaddy made two FT's to finally take the lead at 54-52. Abdul put in a solid game with 10 points, four assists and two steals. The Cougars never took the
lead after that. From there on the two teams sparred, but UW ground out the win, with the lone highlight a curious call by WSU coach Ken Bone to give sophomore post Patrick Simon the shot with UW up two and 13-seconds to play. Motum told the media after the game, "I wouldn’t have (preferred) anyone else to shoot the ball", but it was clear that Patrick was stiff from bench splinters.

Simon had not played in the game and chucked up an ice-cold air ball three attempt that Wilcox turned into two machine like FT's on the other end to finish the scoring. Both junior center Aziz N'Daye and Ross fouled out in the game and were not very productive on the offensive side. N'Diaye did grab seven boards to go with seven points, but fouls also kept him on the bench for all but 21 minutes. It was a come down game for Aziz, after such a solid performance against 'Zona the week before in a game where he was clearly the difference in UW's win. Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times last Tuesday went so far as to talk about 'Ziz being a possible breakout star in the NCAA Tournament this season.

After the game ended it was one of those games that left you scratching your head. Washington shot 35% from the field (as they had at OSU), 23% from three (six percentage points worse than against the Beavs), and 70% from the free throw line (one per cent better). At least in Corvallis, UW won on the glass, as WSU out rebounded the Dawgs convincingly 42-35. The Huskies have two games left in the regular season and will go down to California to battle UCLA and USC. What Romar has accomplished this year is reminiscent of the football tenure of Don James. He has won ugly and taken the youngest of the decent teams in the Pac-12 from a squad that looked like they couldn't beat a D2 team on the road at times to a team that just found a way to win on hostile environments when it had to.

Lorenzo deserves to be awarded the conference Coach of the Year award for this reason. Like James would grind out wins in cold and rainy Husky Stadium in November and beat the teams they should on the road, Romar has taught his young guys to go on the road in January and February and split while (other than an odd loss to Cal) holding serve at home. This is a recipe for championship success in a competitive conference and Romar deserves a lot of credit to get his guys to perform this way, especially when you add to that the road sweep that they yielded in the desert. Now UW controls their Pac-12 destiny. With one weekend to go, all they need is a win over USC, who are just a notch better than most D2 teams, with the hand they've been dealt. If Bone rolled snake eyes in losing Aden, 'SC coach Kevin O'Neill has had his unlucky number jammed on repeat.

The Trojans lost their best player in senior guard Jio Fontan on a exhibition tour of Brazil. They lost starting PF Aaron Fuller, starting center and NBA prospect Dewayne Dedmon and two other sophomore posts in Curtis Washington and Evan Smith to injury. This after losing post Nikola Vucevic early to the NBA and star freshman guard Bryce Jones to a transfer to UNLV. Jones is reportedly blowing up in practices in Vegas and Niko is playing a solid role, filling in for the injured Hawes in Philly. Even though the Trojans are close to decimated, losing probably seven of their top nine players that could have been on the court this season, UW cannot take any team lightly. The road has a strange way of coming up and biting you, if you don't give it the proper respect and USC still has some weapons.

I will go on record though as saying that UW will win on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (PST), but UCLA on Saturday in Westwood CA at 11 a.m. is a whole 'nuther story. UCLA came close to beating the Huskies on November 2nd in Seattle, in a game that was more about a ferocious Husky come back than an opponent's collapse. It will probably take that LA sweep or a Cal loss at Stanford for most to feel that UW is in fact the best team in the Pac-12, despite their being all alone in first place at the moment. Cal has held that mantle for most of the year and still does, according to ESPN's power rankings on Monday.

"Cal still looks like the best team in the conference, and its still-solid efficiency numbers (the Bears rank No. 19 overall in KenPom's adjusted efficiency and No. 2 in the league in per-possession offense and defense, the best all-around numbers of any team in Pac-12 play) back that up."

If the Huskies can win the next two on the road, they will not only have a real good shot at a decent at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament, but will win their 4th straight conference title, their 2nd outright in four years. To hear UW fans question the abilities of Romar, like they did in droves after bleak early season moments like the 92-73 South Dakota State loss at Hec Ed on December 18th, does two things for me. It makes me feel old, as I have seen and incidentally stayed loyal enough to watch and root for way too many UW teams. It also makes me feel angry, not a good combination. Romar was the first UW coach to win (in 2009) an outright title since the early 50's, let alone two. Romar is the first UW coach to win 20 games in four straight years by beating WSU Saturday. Romar's ability to close both top recruits and find under the radar guys who turn out to be top players in unprecedented in UW history.

Oregon embarrassed the Huskies 82-57 in every way you can possibly imagine, including a 4-12 outing from the field from Ross which yielded only eight points. Consistency is really the only argument that UW fans can point to when they argue
that Terrence should stay "one more year". Other than that though, in these past four games, Terrence has been on the mark. Wroten also, other than the Oregon game, has been a player that just continues to get better week after week. Romar
spoke to the media and admitted his teams complete failure at Matt Court.

"They just beat us in every way. I didn’t see us falling flat on our face and doing such a poor job executing.”

There was no positive outcome against the Ducks. The Dawgs were 45-minutes late for the game because of traffic, but that is no excuse and both Wroten and Romar pointed that out after the game. The Huskies were out rebounded, outscored, out hustled, and couldn't find the bottom of the rim if their lives depended on it. The Huskies shot 36% from the field, 12% from the three point line and 38% from the FT line. All but five of the free throw attempts were from Wroten who only hit 6-13 attempts.

When it came to rebounding the teams were about even, 39-38 Oregon, but in nearly every other respect the Ducks dominated UW. Senior guard Devoe Joseph had a great game for Oregon, after being hog-tied in Seattle and was the one who got things going. After Joseph started hot with nine of his 13 points by halftime, there was no looking back.

Washington looked lost out on the court having no answer for what Oregon was throwing their way from multiple directions. There was no second half Ross takeover show this time, as had been the case in a number of exciting UW come back wins earlier in conference play. The Dawgs were tamed as the Ducks did whatever they pleased on the court.

In first place at 9-2, but With 5-7 of the Huskies games on the road, starting in Eugene, this was one of the biggest tests of the season for UW, but they clearly weren't ready for it. UW had to step up during this stretch to close out conference or basically forget about the NCAA's, with such a weak Pac-12 and lack of success in non-conference play.

Although Wroten had six turnovers, he was the only one getting to the rim against Oregon. Simmons was really the only overall positive for the Dawgs with a very active game down low and had a nice box score for him with seven points, eight
boards and a steal in 21 minutes. That is not much to brag about for a whole team.

Gaddy and Wilcox had tough nights with a combined 5-18 from the field, one assist and three TO's. Gaddy continued to egg on the naysayers by not scoring on a consistent basis, but against the Ducks he couldn't even control the team. He dealt one assist in 36 minutes of PT. Aziz was no threat in the paint and Darnell wasn't anywhere to be found.

N'Diaye logged six points and four rebounds in 21 minutes and Gant had only four and two in 20. Overall this was probably the worst game of the conference season for the Huskies, which was vexing after such a good showing on New Year's Eve in Seattle WA against the Ducks and a five game win streak. Vegas odds makers made it a pick-em game and most thought it would've been a contested game, not a blowout.

Ross and Wroten weren't the only ones against Oregon, as from the beginning to the end the Dawgs as a team had no answer for the Ducks. It may have been a blessing that the team failed as a unit, because during the next three games they seem to have succeeded as a group. A lot of it could have been mental, as in the back of every Husky fan's mind (and at Hec Ed every Duck fan), the possibility of getting beat is very likely, regardless to what year it is. This is also true of road
games at WSU, like the one UW must face this Saturday at 3 p.m. (PST).

The Huskies have had trouble winning in front of the Oregon "Pit Crew" for years and this years model was no different. It appeared though to be a game that could either set the Huskies back or make them a stronger team. After three straight
wins, including the 75-72 bare knuckle scrap-fest against Oregon State on Sunday, I think it has been the latter.

After a game where the Huskies lost in every statistical battle against the Ducks, they had to come together as a team against OSU. It was an ugly game offensively for both teams, but UW ground it out and more importantly on the road. UW shot a season low 35% from the floor, but out boarded the Beavs 47-41 and more importantly made only 11 TO's against a pressure defense that is among the nations leaders in forced turnovers, steals, etc.

Though it was not his best game, Wilcox got it going enough to eek out the win, with 17 points off the bench. UW's out scored OSU's bench 24-7. Ross was again a late bloomer, with 12 of his team leading 21 points after the break and he even
attempted to explain the trend as a product of conditioning, when he spoke to the media after the game.

“I feel my endurance is key. Too many players aren’t in shape.”

Like Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, in the 1970 classic "You Can't Always Get What You Want (but if you try some time, you get what you need)", UW didn't get the sweep in Oregon that could have catapulted them into the national spotlight and cemented then in first place in the Pac-12, but they got the split that they needed to keep a toe hold on the prize.

That is how championships are won and programs are built. It isn't always spectacular, but it always requires inner strength and the Huskies showed that in the final stages of the gut it out game against a surly group of orange and black
clad hopefuls in Corvallis OR.

On Thursday in Seattle, the Dawgs came out much better prepared, as they rolled to a 44-26 half-time score over ASU. The Sun Devils are a team that is undermanned this season and in the first half UW played well enough to really rub it in. In the 2nd half it seemed as if UW was not interested and after the game Gaddy even admitted it to the media.

"We played well the first half, we played bad in the second half. It’s simple really. We just got bored with success and tried to get the game over with.”

Against some teams that can be a fatal mistake, but the Dawgs were able to maintain their decline enough to get a much closer sounding than it was eight point win. Gohuskies.com did a full game story with quotes and video of the press
conference, if you really want to know more, but essentially it was the home crowd needing action that was all that motivated UW after the break.

The Youtube clip gives UW fans an idea as to the onslaught that ASU had to take on, with all of the usual Husky suspects pounding the Sun Devils down early and toying with them every time they felt like it the rest of the way. It wasn't a great way warm up for the big match-up with 'Zona, with the sloppy play and all. UW ended up with 15 TO's, but it seemed worse.

Everyone on the bench got a chance to show their stuff and that also contributed mightily to the final margin. Stewart and Breunig probably stood out the most, as the two got some nice PT. The fun and games were over though, as UW entered
the 'Zona game on Saturday. With the 'Cats on a five game winning streak and only a game behind the Dawgs and Cal in first.

But the Dawgs stood up to the challenge and got an important win. With the Cal win over OSU on Saturday, the Huskies are still tied with the Bears for first, but the Bears have that solid tie-breaker, with the win over UW in the two teams'
only meeting this season in Seattle.

With the Buffs road win at Utah on Saturday, Colorado is one game out at 10-4. The 'Cats are now 10-5 and two games back, Oregon joined them with a road win at Stanford on Sunday and Stanford joined UCLA at three games back with the loss.

Next week the complexion of the race could change, if Colorado or Utah were to be able to knock off the Bears, as the Bay Area schools visit the Rocky Mountains. It could also severely damage Washington's new found position, should they lose to the Cougs in Pullman WA this Saturday at 5PM.

The 'Zona game was a real festive occasion, with dramatics all over the place. Gohuskies.com again did a very good job of providing the game story, with the post game interviews. The YouTube highlights not only included N'Diaye's coast to coast flush, but an incredible dunk from Wroten in former prize UW recruit Angelo Chol's face. Tony talked about it after the game to the media.

"It was just funny because it was Chol. He wanted to come here and he didn't and I got him."

All of the bubble talk has the Dawgs precariously nearly in or nearly out. The win over 'Zona helps, but it would be foolish for the Dawgs to think that their work is winding down. Though the various teams that have beaten UW (even the South Dakota State Jackrabbits) are contending for NCAA bids, that doesn't change the fact that UW has not beaten anyone with a good chance of getting in, except in the down trodden Pac-12.

In the last three games UW must perform on the road, something it has had problems with this year, though as the year has moved on the team has improved in that area. WSU did beat Cal 77-75 earlier in the year and UW fans can bet that the Coug Nation will put 100% focus on this game.

Both that game and the last game of the season against UCLA will define UW's season and wins, regardless to what the national media says, will require high level efforts. USC will not likely be a difficult game, though in Seattle the effort put across by the undermanned Trojans was admirable. If UW loses both the WSU and UCLA games, there is little chance that they will win the league title and their season for the third year in a row will come down to the conference tourney.

Former Dawgs Doing Well

As I mentioned, Thomas has been a surprise success for Sacramento. On February 7th, a Youtube clip was released titled "Mr. Irrelevant", chronicling his rise to NBA legitimacy. It doesn't matter what they say, as long as they are talking and on Wednesday I found it funny that the Madison Square Garden crowd, when the Kings played the Knicks, booed Thomas. Why? I guess because they thought that he had some connection to their old GM, who happened to have a problem with female staff members as well as with assembling a team.

On Friday Thomas was named the starting PG for Sacramento and has been a rousing success so far. This is great to see, but I still would have rather seen Thomas do this next year after breaking every UW scoring, assists and steals record. Can you imagine a line-up with Thomas, Wroten, Ross, Gaddy, Suggs and Wilcox. Perhaps Gaddy could have joined Scott as a red-shirt and gained another year for himself in the process. As a side note, although Gant could be come the first Husky ever to play in four NCAA tournaments as a Husky, Suggs could be the first to sit on the bench for five. Gant sat as a freshman, but that team only made the CBI.

On February 8th Percy Allen of the Seattle Times compiled a list of the Pac-12 teams with the most current NBA pay checks and UW was 8th. Losing Brandon Roy and his 8-9 figure contract made a big difference, but expect the Dawgs to move up that list as the current and likely future Huskies enter the league.

One of those pros, all-time leading rebounder and 2nd leading scorer Jon Brockman, released another of his entertaining trick shot videos on Tuesday.

Though he is a long way from today's game, George Irvine was a master of the game of basketball back in 1966-70. He was an all conference player at a time when the league was the best in the nation by a long margin, with the presence of John Wooden, etc. On February 7th Irvine was inducted into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor.

I remember George as a player that I saw in his senior year in 1969-70, in the first year that I really paid attention to Husky Basketball. A good comparison would be the senior year of Quincy Pondexter. Irvine was a wing that could really create his shot, had a strong basketball IQ and just an all around player. Like Quincy, George was a leader and he turned out to be a major success in the game, not only as a pro player, but as a coach and front office man in the league. Irvine. like Pondexter, Brockman, Roy and Detlef Schrempf all played four years. All were able to succeed at the highest levels of the game. Perhaps Wroten and Ross should consider that, as they weigh their decisions in April.

(Jason McCleary of leftcoastrecruiting.com contributed to this post)

(Jason McCleary of leftcoastrecruiting.com contributed to this post)

The Dawgs are the youngest of the top seven teams in the Pac-12, according to a calculation that I did last week. UW had a combined experience coming into the season of 1.2 years, followed by Stanford 1.5, UCLA 1.6, Arizona, Cal and Colorado
1.7 and Oregon 2.4. Though the statistics may be a bit misleading because of the presence of so many freshman.

The only consistent contributors from that nine man class have been guard Tony Wroten, red-shirt post Desmond Simmons and lately a little bit bigger helping of Shawn Kemp Jr. and solid support in practice and even in a few games from football walk-on post Austin Seferian Jenkins.

Really only two players have logged consistent prime rotation minutes, though Shawn has increased his minutes of late and on February 8th thenewstribune.com ran a feature that gave insight as to why. Kemp has looked good, but needed time to get in shape and with the addition of a tough challenge from "ASJ", plus his continued hard work, the future is looking brighter every week for Shawn Jr.

Most of the minutes, other than those of Wroten and Simmons have come from players that are sophomores and juniors, with one scholarship senior post Darnell Gant playing an important role off the bench. Sophomore guard C.J. Wilcox has been slowed by a hip injury that limits his ability to practice completely, but he is a serious pro prospect and just those limited contributions have been key.

Other than Wroten and Wilcox, the other big go-to-gun has been sophomore guard Terrence Ross. The crowd cheered "one more year"as Ross left the court late, with the Dawgs triumphant 79-70 Saturday home win over Arizona in the bag. Terrence
scored 25 points and five steals to lead the way, but Wroten with 22 points and nine boards was just as impressive.

The Huskies have been playing their best basketball, since the large step backwards that they took on February 9th at Oregon. Arizona came into Hec Ed to face off against the Dawgs. In the last eight years, these two teams have been the main event for Pac-12 games of the year and both teams are very similar in style of play.

The game started off very emotional by sending off a couple of seniors. Brendan Sherrer, Tyreese Breshers and Gant received standing ovations before the game for what they have brought to the team over the years. Gant could possibly be the only Husky to ever play in the NCAA tournament in all four seasons he has been with the team.

On February 9th Pac-12.org did a nice feature on Darnell, which pointed out his many accomplishments on and off the court at UW. On Friday gohuskies.com did an up-close interview with Gant, in which he talked more about his artistic side and
compared basketball to dance, as being the closest of the art forms that he has studied as a Performing Arts Major.

Sherrer has won every game he has played in and received the start from Coach Romar on his big night. On Saturday thenewstribune.com ran a story on the Husky seniors, which talked more in depth about Brendan's time on the team, after being an active member of the UW student section for a couple of years.

Breshers is a sad story, hoops wise, as he was forced to retire from the sport because of an undisclosed medical reason. Ty could have been a big help to the Dawgs, over the last couple of years. He was a physical, "weight room" type of
undersized post that could have actually played next year as well because of sitting out a season.

Both teams came out the gates ready to go. It was a heated game that brought out the best in the coaches, players, and fans. Alaska Airlines was sold out and the atmosphere was great for a day of college basketball. Ross and Wroten carried
the load, while junior post Aziz N'Diaye made his presence felt in the paint.

Ross got it going in the first half, something that he hasn't been doing much this season. Wroten and Ross combined for 25 of the Huskies 39 points in the first half to give the team a boost out the gates. Being the last home game of the season, the fans possibly could've seen Ross and Wroten's last games at Hec Ed.

Ross performed at a level that is destined for the NBA whenever he chooses to go, but consistency is his issue. On February 10th however nbadraftinsider.com listed Terrence at the 8th position in their 2012 Mock Draft. Isaiah Thoma would have given this year's Dawgs a lot, but all has worked out well for him in the NBA. Thomas weighed in on the negative side to the question of Ross leaving early, stating on February 11th that Terrence and Tony should stay "one more year".

Ross talked about the NBA after the game on Saturday and insisted that as of now he is coming back, when he spoke to the media. He tried to deflect attention off of himself, being that it was senior day and after a number of questions pushed him into a corner on the issue said, "At this point, I’m coming back".

He also told a reporter from onesportsworld.blogspot.com, "If I feel like I'm ready, then I'll sit down with my family & Romar and talk about it" adding "But at this point I'm coming back."

Wroten is even more of a focus of those that speculate on the NBA draft and search for that future superstar, as they cover young players. On January 31st huffingtonpost.com, a hard national news site featured Tony as just that big of a news story. On Tuesday it was announced on YouTube that a feature film titled "L.O.E (Loyalty over everything)" about Wroten and a rapper friend named Rasaan was in the production phase. On Wednesday sportsillustrated.cnn.com chose Tony as the "point guard most likely to go first (in the draft)" and Wroten was chosen as one of the five finalists for the Tisdale Award for the nations top freshman.

Both Ross and Wroten seem to be playing more consistently as the year moves on, which is a good sign for the future at UW, if they stay. Wroten gets to the rim so easy at the college level and there have been rumors from NBA GM's that teams
love the way Tony plays.

Arizona got great contributions from junior wing Solomon Hill, senior post Jesse Perry and freshman guard Nick Johnson. Senior guard Kyle Fogg looked like he was going to have a good night scoring the first five points of the game for 'Zona, but Fogg settled down after that and didn't really get going like he often has this season. 'Zona is a tough team that you can't let up on and they will only get better with next year's top rated class coming in.

Wroten didn't have the best shooting night, going 8-22 from the field, but in the second half the talented freshman came out the gates poised scoring six quick points, attacking the basket and finishing. Tony was getting to the basket easily
the whole game, but was just missing some bunnies. His rebounding made many of those end up as scores anyway. With a quick second jump, Wroten was able to grab nine rebounds and played the most minutes out of any Husky with 34.

Junior guard Abdul Gaddy has been getting knocked on for not scoring and dribbling into no man's land, but Gaddy had nine points and a game high six assists. Husky Haul over the past couple of weeks have ran at least three obsessive features debating the pros and cons of Gaddy's game. Again, it never hurts to get press. One focused on Gaddy holding too much back, another defended him from those that feel he's a major disappointment and one even compared him stylistically to NBA rookie sensation Jeremy Lin.

Washington only had nine assists total as a team, which makes that assist total for 'Dul all the more impressive. Though Gaddy hasn't become the scorer he once was coming into college, he has the best assist to turnover ratio in the Pac-12.

Aziz is a beast down in the paint and is only getting better. The big man had eight points, 12 boards and four blocks. It's hard not to prepare for a game against UW without mentioning Aziz. Although still raw on the offensive side, N'Diaye has come a long way from where he was when he first stepped on the court last year.

The second half was sparked by a monster dunk from Wroten on 'Zona freshman Angelo Chol. Tony talked about the play to the media after the game.

"I wasn't planning on dunking it. I was going to pass it to Ross for an alley oop but when I looked back over there were two 'Zona players. I went up and just dunked it. I was laughing after because it was on Chol and if you all remember he was supposed to come here, so it was funny."

C.J. Wilcox didn't take one shot in the first half but got on the board in the second finishing with 11 points. A couple of threes Wilcox hit got the crowd going crazy and were instrumental in the Dawgs pulling away down the stretch. Romar stated after the game that he would have to agree.

"Once C.J. hits a couple of those, the team gets a sense of energy like, ok let's get going".

All in all it was a battle tested game for both teams and it gave college basketball fans, regardless of allegiance something good to watch. Wroten got a little banged up in the game as well as Ross and both will go through treatment to get healthy for next weekend against WSU.

Though those two, plus Wilcox, provide the firepower (while N'Diaye brings the brawn), Gaddy has been the facilitator and done a subtle job of bringing these four likely future pros to the same page, when things have gone well for the Dawgs this season. Abdul's assists, with zero turnovers against 'Zona put a smiley face on the win for UW.

Gaddy's eight assist, three TO effort in a less pretty 77-69 win over ASU on Thursday, led some observers to question Abdul's abilities, but his performance against the dangerous 'Cats redeemed him.

N'Diaye has shown considerable improvement over the last year and a half of his Husky career. Against the 'Cats, his performance was probably what most tipped the scales for UW. A hard to believe coast to coast dunk in the first half drew the ire of 'Zona coach Seam Miller, who received a technical foul in the process. It was not a walk in my opinion, despite dribbling the ball twice from mid-court and the YouTube clip does nothing to contradict that.

The addition of Seferian-Kenkins into the post rotation has been a positive, as the tight end has raised the level of physicality and competitiveness in practices and select games. Those four freshman, two sophs, two juniors and one senior have been most of what UW has put on the floor in conference play, though frosh guard Hikeem Stewart and frosh post Martin Breunig have seen spot action, mostly in garbage time as the season progressed.

Freshman swing-man Jernard Jarreau, frosh guard Andrew Andrews and senior red-shirt Scott Suggs will join the Huskies in 2012-13. While the Dawgs have not signed any players from the class of 2012, there are a lot on the radar and Coach Lorenzo Romar will likely bring in one and probably more depending on what attrition occurs.

That attrition will be based on players like Wroten and Ross, who have considerable buzz from NBA scouting analysts and mock draft sites. Wilcox and N'Diaye also have been projected by some (if not all) analysts to be future NBA prospects, but appear to be more likely to stay another year.

Regardless in April, when the wheels start turning as to who could be leaving and who may be arriving, the Dawgs appear to be in good shape for the next few years. Whatever happens, the Huskies will be making another cross country trek to
play at the Tip Off Classic in mid-November, it was announced on Wednesday. The other teams will be juggernaut Ohio State, an upwardly mobile Seton Hall and a Rhode Island team that also has a lot of talent coming back.

Being the youngest of the top Pac-12 programs currently and working very hard on the recruiting trail, it seems as if competing for conference championships will be a consistent theme for the Dawgs. That said, UW are a team this year that doesn't play well on the road, as young teams tend to do.

They have improved over the course of this season, after losing the core of the three departed seniors and two other VIP's. Guard Thomas (early NBA departure), Venoy Overton, Suggs (injury) and Justin Holiday and post Matthew Bryan-Amaning is not a bad starting line-up and is two big men short of a very good seven-man rotation.

To do as well as the Dawgs have done with losses like that speaks very well for Romar and his staff of Paul Fortier (who focuses on the bigs), Raphael Chillious (guards) and Jim Shaw (rebounding). Shaw has done a very good job getting this group to rebound, as UW was ranked after the game Saturday 7th nationally on the glass.

Where the UW staff have not done as good of a job is in foul shooting. UW shot a meddling 67% on Saturday, but have averaged a mediocre 62% from the stripe this season. What's worse is that Aziz has been horrible at 36%. UW needs him in games late for defense and rebounding, but has to put him on the bench to keep him away from the foul line.

Wroten has been steadily improving his numbers, but at 57% he is wasting an incredible talent to get the cup or the line. If Tony and Aziz were respectable foul shooters, with Wroten at between 75-80% and N'Diaye between 65-70%, both would raise their NBA stock exponentially.

Ross really looked every inch an NBA millionaire against 'Zona, but at the beginning of this four game run against Oregon Terrence was kept cleanly in check. The Huskies were the hottest team in the Pac-12 until they played the Ducks in Eugene
on Thursday the 9th.

The Huskies got the sweep by beating a USC team that is now 1-10 in the Pac-12. Washington seemed like a team that just had a bigger hammer, as it played weakly, but were still able to pound the nail when things got tough. UW dominated USC on the boards an incredible 49-16. This game was one of those games that the Huskies needed to prove a point, but they took a long time to demonstrate their obvious superiority. It was a contest where the lead keeps getting bigger and bigger, despite gutty play, by an obvious inferior. Though it wasn't pretty at times, it was definitely a strong team effort defensively and on the glass by UW.

There were only two Husky players who stepped on the court that didn't score in walk-ons Brendan Sherrer and Alex Wegner. The reserves came in and had their moments, which made the Dawg Pack and Husky starters happy on the sidelines. Freshman guard Hikeem Stewart, who has been a good team player but really struggling with his jumper, brought down the house with the final points of the game with 40-seconds to play, a long two. When the game began though Wroten, who led UW for the game with 13 points, was the only UW guard scoring the ball. Even more amazing was the warrior, the prize fighter that Tony personified. Wroten was questionable for the game because of the thigh contusion that he sustained against UCLA. Ross didn't score much early, but was a force on the boards and as usual finished well. Terrence grabbed 14 boards and scored 10 on the night before his 21st birthday. Aziz and Kemp Jr. again were the primary force down in the paint. N'Diaye is becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Kemp Jr again played with more confidence was really a nice spark off the bench during this home LA series. Facing a foil like freshman Austin Seferian-Jenkins in practices has paid off for Kemp. "ASJ" himself had a smart five points late in the game, during garbage time. In a low scoring first half, the Huskies held the Trojans to only 19 points, but only put up 29 points themselves. But in the second half, that's when the Huskies' hammer dropped. 'SC finished the game shooting only 28% from the field, 6% from three and 46% from the free throw line on limited attempts that worsened as their hopes did. The Huskies defense caved in on a lot of shots and forced USC to turn it over 12 times, even though milking the clock and protecting the ball was their sole aim. Senior post Darnell Gant talked about the challenge of keeping up the intensity when a team does that efficiently, when he spoke to the media after the game.

"They slowed it down a lot and tried to run a lot of clock. We’re an uptempo team. When you play teams like that, they kind of lull you to sleep. And you get caught standing and not moving the ball around."

Wroten was setting up his teammates and getting to the rim at will, but UW made only two 3-pointers in the game. Gant had a solid outing with eight points and seven board and also hit some nice mid-range jumpers. Darnell should do Ross'
laundry this week for his hot streak late that saved the game, as Darnell really put his foot in his mouth on Tuesday in my opinion, while talking to the media. I would think that Darnell has seen too much in his career to talk so much, but Gant actually said, “I didn’t expect (UCLA) to be as great as the media was making them out to be". Darnell then added, "They are a decent team. But it didn’t shock me that they struggled". Aziz doesn't talk much, but almost got into an altercation early in the 2nd half when he was fouled hard on a break away by 'SC junior post James Blasczyk. N'Diaye was dominant in the paint against the undermanned USC front court with nine points, five boards and a block in only 22 minutes.

The best thing about Wroten's game, besides the scoring, six rebounds and eight assists, was that he only committed one TO. "I thought he played like a veteran tonight." Were the words from Coach Romar. Everyone who was on the roster that
was available to play received playing time, as freshman post Martin Breunig scored four impressive points late. Gaddy as usual led the team in minutes with 34 and had a conservative approach offensively, as has been the knock on him, but also to some an overall positive. Abdul scored six points, with six assists and three TO's, but was a strong leader, who guided the ship mentally on the court like a player coach. I feel that Gaddy demonstrated this by the way that he described what was holding his team back and what it took to get it going, when he spoke after the game to the media after the UCLA game.

"We were playing as individuals the first 30 minutes and then we came together as a team. Those last two T.V. timeouts we came together and we said ‘man, we need to play as a team'."

On Monday Gaddy and Wroten were the subject of a feature in uwdawgpound.com in which spoke about the differences between Abdul and Tony and their respective good qualities. Freshman post Desmond Simmons only scored two in 13 minutes against 'SC, but was his usual self in the team structure, facilitating on both ends. Bringing Gant off the bench and starting "Dez" just makes sense and seems to be working, so even though Gant had a solid weekend (excluding his pregame comments against UCLA), it makes good sense to stay with that formula. Gant can have a great year by just helping the team win. It is a win/win for him, as he could become the first UW men's player to participate in four NCAA tournament teams as a Dawg. Darnell was the subject of a feature on foxsportswest.com, the LA area version of Fox Sports NW, on Thursday. The article focused on Gant's ability to play whatever role that he is cast in, whether it be on the court, on the stage (he's a drama major and an aspiring actor) or on the band stand (Gant's an accomplished keyboardist/songwriter/producer).

Wilcox was also used less against 'SC, likely by design, for 14 minutes and scored an anemic four points on 2-7 from the field, with four TO's. Just keeping C.J. in the rotation and seeing that he is available was good though for the UW team.
Sending the message that Wilcox is on the line-up card makes UW about twice as hard to prepare for. On Tuesday Romar told the media that C.J. will not be practicing, just playing in games, based on a greater need to rest his femur injury than to run him through game plans. On Monday however, on his weekly radio show, Lorenzo said that Wilcox was cleared by the doctors to do more in practice this week and that last week all he was allowed to do was 50 jumpers. Despite the trials and tribulations, it was a great weekend of basketball for UW. Gant intimated to the media after the 'SC game that despite the backsliding, his team was "buying" in.

"We're more focused now. Everyone's buying into the system right now. No one's thinking about themselves. They're all thinking about the team. And when you think about the team, you're playing defense and you're playing Husky basketball like we try to do, good things start to happen."

Now they will have to get back on top of their game to have a chance in Oregon. It won't be for lack of coaching if UW goes down in Oregon, as Lorenzo has done a great job this season. Romar has taken a team that lost what could easily be a
great starting five. UW lost their best player ever pound for pound in Thomas, as well as their only legit inside scorer in Matthew Bryan-Amaning. They lost their best shooter, percentage wise, in senior guard Scott Suggs (who is red-shirting and will be back next year). Last but not least, the Dawgs lost two major defensive contributors to three straight Pac-10 championships in wing Justin Holiday and guard Venoy Overton.

Romar has been able to build a team, even though it is still a work in progress, that could put on a show like they did in Arizona and is all alone in first place, despite it's tenuous footing. That is impressive and doesn't go unnoticed. The LA Times ran a feature on Wednesday, which pointed out that Romar the former UCLA assistant (who won a national championship under Jim Harrick there in 1995), is also a person that is both a serious competitor and very well liked and gracious. In honor of a 70's night against UCLA on Thursday, when fans were encouraged to wear 70's duds, Montlake Madness decorated their game story with pictures of Romar from the late 70's and early 80's at UW, with a Lionel Richie style "Afro" hairstyle. I remember Lorenzo at UW as a player and he was really good. He would probably start on this year's Husky team, which is saying something.

Former Dawgs Doing Well

Thomas and Wroten's cousin Nate Robinson had a showdown in the Bay Area on Tuesday and it was not dull. IT and Nate gave it all they had and both distinguished themselves in an even display of talent and skill. Thomas' late game heroics appeared to be more important to his team, but Robinson's performance was solid and workmanlike. On Wednesday the Sacramento Bee talked about Thomas' consistent contributions late in games and on Saturday the Bee talked about how Isaiah has really played himself into the Kings main rotation. On Monday, King blog sactownroyalty.com talked about Thomas not only as a role player, but potentially a central figure in the King's future.

(Jason McCleary of leftcoastrecruiting.com contributed to this post)

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Jim Basnight

Jim Basnight has been following Basketball with an emphasis on the Washington Huskies for 40 years. He was the publisher of the Rivals/Yahoo.com Husky Sports site from May 2005 through August 2008 and has continued to cover Husky Basketball, as well as the Cougars, Seattle U and all of the other NW teams. His basketball coverage and analysis pieces have been published in Scout, Realdawg and many other internet outlets. Jim also helped launch the Seattle Times Husky Basketball Blog in 2005.

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