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Husky Men's Basketball Blog

Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies.

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May 4, 2008 9:39 AM

Isaiah Thomas gets passing score

Posted by Bob Condotta

Husky fans can now begin making firm plans for the beginning of the Isaiah Thomas era next season as the guard from South Kent Prep School by way of Curtis High in Tacoma found out Friday he has gotten a qualifying score on the ACT.

That means as long as he finishes up his classes well and graduates as scheduled on June 1 he will be fully qualified to play for the Huskies next fall.

"It's a big relief to get it off my shoulders,'' Thomas said.

Thomas said he found out Friday when he checked on-line. He had been planning to take the SAT again this weekend if needed.

"But I didn't want to take it again,'' he said. "I was checking all the time to get my score as soon as possible and when I saw it the first person I called was (UW coach Lorenzo Romar) and then (assistant) coach (Cameron) Dollar and then my parents.''

Their reaction, as you might expect, was "very happy,'' Thomas said. "They said just finish the school year off strong and then you are in there.''

Getting the score is the culmination of a roughly two-year academic journey for Thomas. He originally committed to play at UW in the spring of 2006, shortly after the end of his junior season at Curtis High. He was expected to sign with UW in the fall of 2006. But when it became apparent he had some academic issues, he talked with UW coaches who helped facilitate a move to South Kent Prep School, where he could get his grades in order. That, however, meant he'd have to stay two years and delay enrolling at UW one year.

"It has worked out tremendously,'' he said.

He finally signed an official letter with UW last November and now needs only to graduate from South Kent to become fully eligible.

Once he does that, he said he plans to return to Seattle and enroll in the summer bridge program at UW and work out with the Huskies.

"I'll be coming home for good,'' he said.

Now with the passing score in hand, he said he can begin looking forward to becoming a Husky.

"I think I'll fit in real good,'' he said. "The style of play, the up-and-down system, fits my game tremendously well. We're going to get the Washington progam back on its feet, back to where it was when Nate (Robinson) and Brandon (Roy) and all of them were there.''

Three of UW's four incoming recruits are now known to be qualified, the others being Tyreese Breshers and Scott Suggs.

The Huskies are basing much of their hopes for improvement on this year's 16-17 record on improvement in the backcourt, notably the addition of Suggs, Thomas and Elston Turner Jr., all members of a class ranked as the 15th best in the nation.

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Posted by mattysimone

10:50 AM, May 04, 2008

there is a god!!!!! thank god and pop the don fellas!!!! ncaa here we come!!!! bob thats the best post you have ever done

Posted by Huskies, baby

11:11 AM, May 04, 2008


Posted by Coug4Life

11:52 AM, May 04, 2008

Thomas is going to have to expend so much of his time and energy trying to get grades he should not even be allowed to set foot on a basketball court next year. And even if he does, he is a freshman and will struggle and not contribute heavily. Romar is a great recruiter but has no idea how to develop players so I see Thomas just being an obvioulsy not-so bright high school kid flailing around and trying to fit in. Wallace is done, he will not recover from his injury and even if he does make it back

Posted by coug

11:53 AM, May 04, 2008

lol, who is romar going to kick off the team so that IT can join it?

Posted by jed

12:16 PM, May 04, 2008


Perhaps someone will do exactly what Rochestie did for your precious Cougars last year, i.e. voluntarily give up their scholarship for the good of the team and self-pay. Hey, instate tuition is not that bad

Posted by Jeff

12:18 PM, May 04, 2008

I would much rather try with IT then your guy from Ferris. Have fun with DeAngelo Casto cougs.

Posted by coug

12:23 PM, May 04, 2008

Coug4life has it right! Look for the cougs to make another run at the pac 10 title as we did last year and another deep run in the NCAAs while you sit at home

Posted by jed

12:48 PM, May 04, 2008


Let me put one thing straight, that was not much of a true "run for the Pac 10 title" last year as you were unable to beat the top two teams in the league even with multiple tries. You had a good year but not really on the level of Stanford or UCLA despite one of your best teams in the last 100 years of WSU basketball.

I don't like to pile on but give it a rest.

Posted by grant

1:10 PM, May 04, 2008

Isiah Thomas is just what this team needs. A multi talented guard who can score in bunches, but more importantly, a local guy who will play with some pride. Just like he says, time to get back to the style we had with Nate and B-Roy.

Posted by Mr. Big

3:15 PM, May 04, 2008

I would like to give both of you Coug posters a virtual pop in the snout for trolling here and not having even the slightest clever responses to this bit of news. But I don't blame you for taking the news hard. Life will suck for the Cougs for the next 4 years at least. Great job Isiah. Welcome into the Husky family.

Posted by mattysimone

3:38 PM, May 04, 2008

dawgs make the ncaas cougs loose in first round of nit......write i down or take a picture.....thats my prediction. Thomas will be the pac10 fresh of the year

Posted by mattysimone

3:41 PM, May 04, 2008

and he had crazy hops to go along with his capability of droppin 50 on a opponent. It may sound crazy but I think he has better hops than nate!!!! yikes! bob is there anyway to find out his vertical?

Posted by ill1.

4:47 PM, May 04, 2008

i understand that a qualifying ACT score means he's playing next year, but have we REALLY gotten to the point where someone who barely passes the ACT garners a news headline? oh my, how our standards have soared...

Posted by dawgpacka

6:30 PM, May 04, 2008

fire romar and free the huskies

Posted by dawgville

6:32 PM, May 04, 2008

ill, I believe there was recently another Husky who had similar qualifying issues as IT - some loser name Brandon Roy. Whatever happened to that guy anyway?? Not sure if you can comprehend this, but qualifying score and basketball ability are not related. Now go away, troll...

Posted by mattysimone

7:29 PM, May 04, 2008

I think only the true fans really know what this kid is capable of. he has a talent compared to allen iverson. yeah he is a pretty crappy player too, but IT has unreal jumping ability also compared to nate. that almost sounds to good to be true and the catch was his grades, well now thats solved so skys the limit. Everyone wanted him but he wanted to stay home and get it back to the brandon and nate days!!! im so excited for next year as well as the suggs factor. they are saying he could be another brandon roy! DEFINITELY a good day to be a dawg fan. Think of that line up


then the we are deep next year, are really 11 or 12 deep? thats solid!

Posted by DAWGONE in AZ

7:51 PM, May 04, 2008

First of all, congratulations to Isaiah for having a goal and making the steps to achieve it...hopefully this is the beginning for great things to come from him over many years...

[Just so I don't look like a complete ignorant fool...I know nothing about the program Isaiah went through, hopefully it's nothing like the school I say on a "Dateline" (or the like) show that showed a non-acedumic "basketball factory".]

Secondly, whewwww!

Thirdly, next year will be very exciting!!!

And finally, Coug4life, your a moron...

Again, congrats Isaiah!

Posted by ill1

8:02 PM, May 04, 2008

dawgville -- i said nothing about relating an ACT score to basketball ability... we all know IT dropped 50+ against franklin in the state tourney a few years back and we all know that BRoy is probably the best UW product in the league since detlef.

im not even going to try to clarify my point since it went way over your head... but thanks for dignifying what i had to say!

Posted by mattysimone

8:56 PM, May 04, 2008

can we move wsu to an island? like lopez or something? there fans deserve to be on a island and never let off haha
then maybe put the duck fans on a neighboring one so they just shot across at each other till they are all gone :)

Posted by dawgville

9:39 PM, May 04, 2008

Ill1, first of all, it's the headline in a blog post, its not a "news headline". Bob posts way more inane items than this all the time - and us true fans enjoy every one of them. Second, this guy is a future NBA talent that we know will now be playing ball as a Husky for the next few years - it is the equivalent of announcing a major recruiting coup.

Now please explain your point.

Posted by grant

9:48 PM, May 04, 2008

Dawgone in AZ,
IT went to South Kent, the same prep school that MBA went to. It has a solid reputation, and is not one of those basketball factories that you refer to.

Also, anyone who gets down on a kid who moved across the country to get his academics in order to pursue his life goals either needs to shut up and lose the condescension, or get a grip and some perspective. Plenty of NCAA athletes need work to qualify and meet admission standards (B-Roy @ UW...and Casto isn't eligible yet either Cougs). To a middle class white kid with no disadvantages and a solid home life, those standards are easy. But when everything is not so cookie cutter, reality shifts one's focus and concerns. I find it especially funny that the Coug fans have the nerve to criticize IT for his academic struggles, when none of you were able to get into UW at all. Care to explain that one?

Posted by Go Dawgs!

10:00 PM, May 04, 2008

You Cougar trolls are pathetic. You spend months talking trash about UW and the insignificance of recruiting, but as soon as one of those recruits comes in, you take cheap shots at him. Have fun watching IT run all over you for the next few years.

Posted by DAWGONE in AZ

10:34 PM, May 04, 2008

Well, they could have CHOSEN WSU, but who would admit to that?!?

If you would have seen the report on Dateline (or the like), you would have agreed that that would be the acception to giving accolades to the student. It was a "basketball factory" where the kids didn't even show up for class, and when they did there were no lessons going on. But I think the NCAA has cracked down on those "institutions".

Posted by Ziasudra

6:45 AM, May 05, 2008

I'm bemused by the handle "ill1" - does that mean ill (as in sick) one?
Doesn't South Kent have a reputation as an acedemic school first, then athletic second? Maybe I missed that.
I would venture a guess that by mid season, both IT and Suggs will be starting, or, at least logging most of the floor time.

Posted by dbdmack

11:50 AM, May 05, 2008

Thomas' father sent him to the prep school in order to get his academics in line. Notice, he did not send him to Oak Hills Academy or any of the other hoop factories. He sent him to a college prep school with a good basketball program. He obviously knew what was best for his son and took actions to make things work. South Kent is a school where you can't slack, they don't allow it.

Isiah will be the UW's second leading scorer next year behind Brockman. He'll do fine gradewise and I predict he'll be gone after his sophmore year, possibly junior year. UW is going to love this kid.

Posted by Sittingdawg

11:55 AM, May 05, 2008

"when I saw it the first person I called was (UW coach Lorenzo Romar) and then (assistant) coach (Cameron) Dollar and then my parents.''

I love that. Calls Romar and Dollar, and then his parents. This kid is obviously committed to UW basketball. I can't wait to see him play next year.

Posted by MT Husky

12:54 PM, May 05, 2008

I'm fired up about everything we're reading and hearing about IT also. But leaving after his sophmore year? Is he really THAT good? That seems a little optimistic for a player who doesn't even rank in the top 100 (Suggs #45, Elston Turner #71 and Breshers #83).

I hope Turner can now qualify. Don't hear much about him, but he's been pretty consistently ranked high on the scouting/recruiting boards so he must really bring something to the table.

Does anyone know anything about Aaron Dotson? I see has him in the top 100 (in the 70's I think) 2009 prospects, and he lists UW as an interest (but no offer).

Posted by dbdmack

1:11 PM, May 05, 2008

He reminded me of Tim Hardaway more than the Nate R. comparasons. He can pull up on a dime and pop it. I don't think he has the complete freak athleticism that Nate had (who does?), but I do think he is a more complete hooper that can shoot and doesn't need to create space or be completely open like Nate did in high school. He can also dribble with his head up.

With Overton and Dentmon, I bet he gets a lot of looks at the two because of his scoring ability. Too bad they don't have Mr. Hawes next year, they would of been the top team in the country.

Posted by MT Husky

1:27 PM, May 05, 2008

My opinion is there are four areas that Huskies need to greatly improve in the coming season to contend in the Pac-10:

1 Perimeter defense. I think too many people missed how badly Appleby and Dentmon hurt the Huskies last year with their poor defense. One game I was tracking how many points Huskies gave up because Appleby or Dentmon lost their guy (who didn’t necessarily score, but help had to come over thus leaving open a different player who then did score) and it was in the ‘teens’ before I quit. Everyone points at FT’s, but better perimeter defense would have given Huskies at a minimum several more wins.

2 Assists. Huskies were #9 in the Pac-10 in assists and I think this came largely as a result of some players playing a one-on-one NBA style without the ability to do so. Huskies have got to be better about working the ball around for more open shots.

3 Scorer who can create when a big basket was needed. Okay, the assists was also hurt by too many missed shots. But some of that was Huskies did not have that one player who can consistently create a basket on his own when the defense has tightened up and someone just needs to create something.

4 FT shooting.

My point is, it sounds to me these freshmen help address most of these issues. Suggs, with his length and court smarts hopefully will be a better perimeter defender. IT and Suggs both can be that scorer that has been lacking. I don’t know about the assists…but I do think as the season progressed players like QPon, Overton and MBA really showed improvement in their passing. Suggs and IT are both excellent FT shooters.

It really sounds like the freshmen have the potential to fill in those holes the Huskies clearly had last season.

Posted by Dawgman81

2:06 PM, May 05, 2008

Hey MT Husky............You need to check the 2007 recruiting class in scout not the 2008 recruiting class.......IT was the 17 ranked PG and a top 100 player in 2007.

Posted by MT Husky

2:45 PM, May 05, 2008

Thanks Dawgman - it's a good thing IT didn't extend his eligibility ANOTHER year, he wouldn't have even made their top 150 list!

I wonder why he dropped so much.

I hope the 2007 list is more accurate, it is that much more exciting to think about.

I realize the following is a stretch, but it did occur to me that IT can do so much to boost the UW program just by raising the awareness of the program across the country.

IF IT is as good as advertised, and IF Huskies make it to the tourney...can you imagine how much fun CBS will have playing off his name and comparing him to the original Isaiah Thomas of 30 years ago?

Talk about a great opportunity for some building of the UW Husky B-ball brand name.

Posted by Denver Husky

3:46 PM, May 05, 2008

MT Husky - IT doesnt get a specific ranking or a place in the top 100 because he technically belonged to class of 2007. I remember reading on Scout that they like to put players who actually belong in that class in the top 100, and give other kids a chance to crack the top 100 instead of carrying over prep school kids

Posted by MT Husky

3:58 PM, May 05, 2008

Thank you Denver Husky. I was (quite obviously) oblivious to that.

Posted by Randy

9:15 AM, May 06, 2008

MT Husky, Not to beat a dead horse but to additionally clarify what Denver Husky is saying concening IT's ranking:

Go to

Sort by position PG and you'll see Isaiah Thomas squeezed in between 14 & 15. That's at the bottom of the 4 star prospects. That does not mean he is rated at the bottom, just that he has no number rating in this class so the systems places him last in the 4 star sorting. Believe me, if he had a number, he would be higher. But this does indicate one thing...he is one of the 15 best point guards in the country coming into college.

Posted by Royal

8:00 PM, May 06, 2008

Brockman, Hawes, then Thomas. It looks like the Huskies have gotten the best player in the state for 3 consecutive years. If not the best then nearly the best.

It's a point of fact that this is new for the Huskies of the last 20 years.

My guess is that from this point on the Huskies will change their recruiting tact and aim to pick and choose focusing on a few good players per year rather than going for the scatterer gun approach.

I have to imagine that things are on the way up.

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