Who Will Step Up At UW?
This Friday throughout campuses all over will be midnight madness which means college basketball is around the corner.
For the Washington Huskies who were picked to win the conference last season but fell to third place will be picked to finish fourth place this year. The UW Huskies graduated three seniors last year and lost junior Isaiah Thomas to the NBA draft.
Thomas has been the face of Huskies basketball the last three seasons.
What the Huskies are losing in Thomas who had he came back would have been the schools all-time leading assist man and second all-time in scoring.
When Thomas came to Washington the Huskies had missed the NCAA tournament the two previous seasons. While at Washington the Huskies went to the NCAA tournament every year, won a Pac-10 regular season title, won two Pac-10 tournament championships and won four NCAA tournament games.
Thomas has started more NCAA tournament games than any Husky in program history. Thomas was second-team all Pac-10 as a freshman while winning freshman of the year, two-time first-team all Pac-10 and was tournament MVP last year.
The Huskies are losing quite a bit in Thomas but now must find someone to replace his production.
No one player can replace Thomas but instead Lorenzo Romar will be counting on several players to up their production.
I’ll start with Abdul Gaddy who returns from injury. Gaddy who was a five star recruit coming in will be a junior this year. Gaddy last season before his injury was averaging 8.5 points per game, 3.8 assists while shooting 50.0% from the field and 40.6% from three point range.
Another player who will be asked to replace Thomas production is rising star Terrence Ross. Ross last year averaged 8.0 points per game in only 17.4 minutes per game. Ross shot 44.3% from the field and 35.2% from three point range. Ross is a projected lotto pick as he is a freak of an athlete who can nail the three point shot.
In the Pac-10 tournament Ross was named first team all tournament team averaging 15.3 points per game, shot 52.7% from the floor and 35.3% from three point range making two per game. In the season ending loss to North Carolina Ross was terrific scoring 19 points on 7-10 shooting including three three pointers and six rebounds.
Another guy who will be asked to replace Thomas is C.J. Wilcox who was first-team all freshman team in the Pac-10. Wilcox last season averaged 8.1 points per game in just 15.8 minutes. Wilcox shot 41.9% from the field and 40.1% from three pointers making 1.9 three pointers a game.
In the Pac-10 tournament Wilcox averaged 13.0 points per game , shot 46.4% from the field and 45.0% from three point range making three three’s a game. In the NCAA tournament Wilcox averaged 8.5 points per game making four of nine three point attempts including three of four in the loss to North Carolina.
The last player who will be asked to replace Thomas is five star recruit point guard Tony Wroten Jr. from Garfield High School. Wroten has impressed a ton of scouts with his play on all-star tournaments for team USA amongsts others this past year. Wroten is considered the best passer in the nation coming in.
The Huskies will be leaning on two four star recruits and two five star recruits to replace Thomas.
In conclusion, losing Thomas hurts because he is a veteran who has produced in big games.
The Huskies will have more than enough talent to replace Thomas though.
Just a matter of will these young kids step up in the big moments which Ross and Wilcox showed last year they can. The Huskies will be just fine this year without Thomas as I still expect Romar to lead the Huskies to the NCAA tournament for a program record fourth straight year.
Thomas was a great Husky but the Huskies program is still in great shape with all these talented guards left behind.