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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

January 19, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Isaiah Thomas vs. Derrick Williams

Oregon_Washington_Basketball 2.JPG
Isaiah Thomas (near left)
Ht.: 5-9
Wt.: 185
Yr.: Junior
PPG: 15.9
RPG: 3.6
APG: 4.9
Derrick Williams
(far right)
Ht.: 6-8
Wt.: 241
Yr.: Sophomore
PPG: 19.7
RPG: 7.3
APG: 1.1
The David vs. Goliath analogy doesn’t put the matchup between Washington guard Isaiah Thomas and Arizona forward Derrick Williams into proper perspective.
Or course there’s the size difference, but a more apt description might be to describe tomorrow’s game between the 20th-ranked Huskies and the 25th-ranked Wildcats as a heavyweight fight between the best teams in the Pac-10.
Thomas acknowledged tomorrow’s game could play a role in deciding who wins the Player of the Year award. Still, he said he doesn’t intend to make the game a personal matchup.
“He definitely doesn’t want to guard me and I don’t want to guard him,” Thomas said. “It’s not going to be between me and him. It’s going to be the Huskies against the Wildcats.”
Still Thomas and Williams are the stars for both teams and it’s rare when the conference is able to showcase two of its best players in the same game.

UW coach Lorenzo Romar on Williams: “We’ve had some really good talent come through this Pac10 in the last few years. Guys who leave after their freshman and sophomore years. Really good basketball players. He’s one of the hardest covers since Ike Diogu who was very difficult to cover for Arizona State. He’s shooting 70 percent from the three-point stripe. He can put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket. He’s very, very good at drawing fouls. We know how athletic he is — period. But around the rim he’s so explosive. He’s just a tough cover and they go to him quite a bit.”

Romar on defending Williams:
“There’s a worry regardless of who you put on him. I don’t think there’s an easy way to do it. Whatever way we decide to defend him, you just got to hope that’s the best way to go and be prepared for Plan B or Plan C, D or E.”
Romar on the other teams that have played Williams: “I think there have been teams that have limited his shots at the basket. But he seems to still – like Ike Diogu did. We’d defend Ike Diogu and it didn’t seem like he took many shots and he turned the ball over a couple of times and maybe charged, but at halftime you say good Ike is not killing us. But he has 16 points. And you say how did he get 16? Derrick is a lot like that. Teams have taken away (some things). Maybe he’s taken four shots in a half, but he still has 13 points. Plus he gets to the foul line so frequently.”
Arizona coach Sean Miller on Thomas: “Isaiah Thomas is really playing at a very, very high level. He deserves to be put in the category as the nation’s best point guard. He isn’t getting 1/10th of the credit that he deserves in that category because he is a true point guard.
“He lead our conference in assists. He means as much to Washington on the offensive end as probably Derrick Williams means to us on the offensive end. He just makes the game easy for his teammates. What he’s always done is his ability to score and he continues to do it. He had 27 points and 13 assists in a big game for Washington at Cal. You had the point total there and he’s responsible for almost 60 points in a single college game.
“Everybody in college basketball should be talking about Isaiah Thomas because he’s in a top 25 program. He’s won a conference championship. He’s won in the NCAA tournament. He’s been in multiple NCAA tournament. He’s an upper classmen and the guy is getting the job done as such a high level that when I turn the TV on and they’re talkign about the nation’s best guards, for him not to be mentioned is really not fair. We have like all teams that play Washington, our hands full in trying to deal with him because it’s not an easy task.”

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