Photo credit: Getty Images – Jeff Gross
If you’re a selection committee member for the NCAA tournament, you had to be impressed by the brilliant performance from Klay Thompson (above) last night.
Returning from a one-game suspension due to a marijuana citation, he set the Pac-10 Tournament scoring record with 43 points. He connected on 8 of 14 three-pointers. He made 15 of 29 from the field. He collected six rebounds and played 37 minutes despite being in foul trouble.
The old record was 41 points set by California’s Leon Powe on March 10, 2006 in a double overtime game.
Thompson’s 43 points tied for the third highest in WSU history. It also tied his career high.
Washington Isaiah Thomas also had an amazing game with 21 points, 11 assists and three steals in 40 minutes.
“Some shots he hit, I was like, ‘Man, is that Kobe?'” Thomas said. “We had a hand up, and he was hitting them from everywhere. He played a great game and fought hard.”
After the game Thompson was desolate and the tournament scoring record gave him no comfort.
“I could care less,” he said. “We came up short, missed some free throws, and it’s all on me now.
“I’m not really feeling anything, both frustration and disappointment because I know – I know – we’re an NCAA team, and the fact that we’re not going is a huge blow, because you’ve got all this talent. It’s a disappointment. Learn from it. Bounce back.”
“I am very proud of Klay (Thompson), but it’s always disappointing to lose, no matter if a player scores five points or 50 points,” WSU coach Ken Bone said. “We are playing good basketball right now, and I hope the season doesn’t end tonight. It’s just not in my hands.”
Thompson told the Spokesman-Review the Cougars are likely headed to the NIT.
“The NIT would be fun, but my dream was the NCAA tournament,” he said.
Former Rainier Beach star Reggie Moore insinuated that he wasn’t totally healthy from an ankle injury that forced him to miss last week’s regular-season finale.
“Klay is an awesome player, best in the league,” Moore said. “I just wish I was healthy enough to help him out like I did last season.”
March 11, 2011 at 10:32 AM
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