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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM

A rivalry in the making

Too bad Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Williams aren’t around.
Wouldn’t it be thrilling if they hadn’t left school early for the NBA and renewed a rivalry Saturday that produced three amazing games last season.
The last time Washington and Arizona met, Thomas proved just how cold blooded (above) he truly is in the Pac-10 Tournament title game. The Huskies won 77-75 in overtime.
In the previous meeting, Williams not only won the game with a game-saving block (below), he wrapped up the Pac-10 MVP award and virtually guaranteed Arizona the outright regular-season title. The Wildcats won 87-86 in front of a sold-out, white-out frenzied crowd at the McKale Center.
Washington won the first game at home by 17 points, but not before Thomas sparked a second-half rally with a brilliant hustle play in which he dove out of bounds and disappeared in the tunnel to save a loose ball.
The stars are gone. In their place is Tony Wroten Jr., Kyle Fogg, Terrence Ross and Solomon Hill.
Both coaches said a rivalry is brewing between the teams, who compete on and off the court.
Washington stole junior guard Abdul Gaddy, who verbally committed to Arizona, while the Wildcats nabbed freshman forward Angelo Chol, a UW recruit, from the Huskies.
“I hope that everybody looks at it as a really healthy rivalry,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “The respect that we have for Washington’s program is immense. The way they recruit. The way the play and who they are as a program, they’re a great representation of the Pac-12 and hopefully the look at us as the same.”
During his 10 years as UW coach, Lorenzo Romar has seen different rivals come and go.
“It seems like it’s changed throughout the years we’ve been here,” he said. “You want to say our natural rival is Washington State, but there was a time when UCLA was our rival. And then under (Lute) Olson that became a little bit of a rival. Oregon has been a little bit of a rival.
“And now maybe Cal and Arizona possibly. It may be a rivalry because maybe there’s a mutual respect.”

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, UCLA

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