Husky Basketball 2011: Top 5 Individual Performances
The Washington Huskies 2010-11 run through the tournament ended too soon in a loss to North Carolina on a less than neutral court. Isaiah Thomas' recent decision to turn pro has created more unknowns for the upcoming season. Before looking to far ahead to next season, let's take a look at five individual performances that put a smile on Lorenzo Romar's face.
No. 5: Battle in the Desert
Not often were players able to match the performance of potential first round pick Derrick Williams. In the Huskies second game against Arizona, Matthew Bryan-Amaning did just that.
After a disappointing first half performance, Bryan-Amaning carried the Huskies using an array of low-post moves and nifty passing from Isaiah Thomas. In a game high 39 minutes of play, MBA stuffed the stat sheet. He finished with 24 points, eight rebounds, four assists and a game-high seven blocks. If not for questionable late game heroics by his counter-part Williams, Bryan-Amaning would have the Pac-10 Player of the Week.
No. 4: Wilcox Catches Fire
After suffering a loss at home to Washington State in the previous game, the Huskies were down one to UCLA at half. Looking lackluster and searching for answer, redshirt freshman C.J. Wilcox provided the necessary spark for the Huskies.
After being held scoreless in the first half, Wilcox took the first pass from Isaiah Thomas and drained a three-pointer. Wilcox scorched the nets from then on, finishing with 24 points including four of seven shooting on three-pointers. This shooting exhibition proved to be the start of a great finish to the year for C.J. Wilcox.
No. 3: Seattle Showdown
After an impressive game in the Bay (see next slide), Isaiah Thomas continued to have his way in the showdown between Washington and Arizona in Seattle. Many billed this to be the Pac-10 game of the season up until this point in the season, and the Huskies did their part.
Arizona on the other hand had no answer for Thomas. Leading the Dawgs to victory and first place, Thomas tied for a game-high 22 points and 10 assists. Arizona coach Sean Miller said after the game, "I have a hard time believing there are five better point guards in the country than Isaiah Thomas."
No. 2: Dishes and Treys in the Bay
After a head-scratching loss to Stanford, the Huskies headed up north to finish their tour of the bay against Cal. Isaiah Thomas singlehandedly ensured that the Huskies wouldn't go home empty handed.
Cal had no answer for Thomas in the lane. Trip after trip down the court, Thomas was allowed operate in the painted area and he took full advantage. To go along with a season-high 27 points, Thomas handed out 13 assists. This game was one of many that would solidify Thomas's spot as the top point guard in the Pac-10.
No. 1: Coldblooded
Not only was Isaiah Thomas's performance in the Pac-10 Tournament final the greatest this season, it will go down as one of the greatest in Husky Basketball history.
After a late-season swoon, Thomas led regained his shooting touch and swagger when the Huskies needed it most. Playing 123 of 125 minutes in the tournament partly due to a lack of options at point guard, Thomas made the last minute the most memorable. With the score tied at 75, Thomas used a wicked crossover to free up space and put up the game winning shot that found its way through the net with no time remaining. To go along with his coldblooded moment, Thomas finished with 28 points, five rebounds and seven assists.