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March 10, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Isaiah Thomas: “You’ll see a different me on Thursday”

On Tuesday, Isaiah Thomas was introspective and critical of himself as he opened up about his recent troubles on the court. The Washington junior co-captain takes the blame for the Huskies’ slide in the second half of the season and promised to play Thursday with a different attitude.
Here’s the second half of the interview:
(What’s wrong with your game lately?) “I’m out there thinking too much. The last 2-3 games just been thinking a little too much. It felt like in my mind like I was a freshman. Looking over to the bench every play. Seeing if I’m doing good or bad. I don’t know. When I thought about it Sunday night it came to me. I’m thinking too much. I need to just go out there. Play basketball and not worry about anything else but winning. I’ve been in the gym Sunday and Monday. I’ve been in there today (Tuesday). I’m in the middle of classes. When I get in the gym that’s when I know I’m really focused and put everything aside. I’m ready to play Thursday and put the team on my shoulders and try to get a win.”
(Are you tired or worn down?) “No. It’s nothing to do with being tired. I’ve trained since the summer to be ready for this. I’m not tired. I’ve watched film on the little things I can get better on with my shooting. I’m falling back. I’m not keeping my follow-through up. Free throws, not bending my legs. Just little things that can be fixed and they will be fixed come Thursday.”
(Thoughts on post-season awards?) “That’s alright. Like I said yesterday, I’m looking for bigger and better things. Winning games and winning Pac-10 championships and trying to go far in this NCAA tournament. Individual stuff doesn’t really matter to me.”
(Are you beating yourself up lately?) “You could say that. Yeah. Just trying to figure out what it that I hadn’t been playing well the last 2-3 games. But I figured it out I think. I’ll be back to the old Isaiah Thomas come Thursday.”

(Do you need to go through the self-evaluation process?) “Just going over film and trying do what can to be a better player. I watch a lot of film this year, more than the last couple of years. I can see it on the court. If it’s teams that made adjustments to try and stop me, it’s not even that. I haven’t been going out there with the same. I’ve just been thinking a little too much and not just going out there and playing basketball. The game I’ve played my whole life. You’ll see a different me on Thursday. A me that’s energetic. Smiling and just having fun.”
(Do you have to take the game over?) “Whatever it may be. If that means I got to go out and take a game over on the defensive end and try to be Venoy (Overton) or go out and score 40. If my team needs me to do whatever, I’m willing to do that. It’s the end of the season. It’s March. My team looks to me and I’m going to put my team on my shoulders and do what I can to get a win.”
(How does the team come together?) “You got to go back to what’s worked. You can’t over think when team’s adjust to you because teams are going to adjust and try to do whatever they can to find your weaknesses and slow you down. With us team’s don’t want us to get out in transition. But we got to – no matter what teams try to do -we got to counter that and get in transition and push the ball and not just look to coach for things. I’m basically the coach out there when I’m on the floor because I’m the point guard of the team. Like I said the last couple of games and all of February it’s been so up and down with me and I feel like it’s rubbed off on the team. I just got to have a positive attitude. Go out and have fun and see where that takes us.”
(Has it surprised you to discover your play affects everyone else?) “No. Ever since I was a freshman I’ve always felt that way. Even when we had (Jon) Brockman and Quincy (Pondexter), I felt like being the point guard of the team my play dictates a lot of what we do. Doesn’t mean I have to go out there and score 25 points or get 15 assists. It’s being an overall great leader and picking dudes up that aren’t playing as well. Just holding everybody accountable for what they’re doing. I feel like if I do that and we’re having fun, we’re a hard team to beat. We just got to get back to having fun and play hard.”
(Is it something about WSU that gives UW fits?) “I don’t think so. The first time we just didn’t play defense. The second time we played better defense, but we couldn’t hit shots. If we get all of that and put it in one and be a consistent team, we can beat Wazzu. They’re not like the best team in the country to where we’re like man playing Wazzu this is going to be tough. They played two good games. We give them all the credit. They battled those two games and beat us. But it’s hard to beat a team three times and we’re going to be well-prepared for what they’ve got.”

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