Isaiah is a Wooden Award Candidate & YOU Speak Out – Fan Answers to Part II of the UW Husky Hoops Fan Poll

Isaiah Thomas is one of the 50 players named as a preseason candidate for the John Wooden Player of the Year award, and the All-America Team. Brockman made the list last season, which is whittled down to 30 at midseason.
Isaiah Thomas is one of the 50 players named as a preseason candidate for the John Wooden Player of the Year award, and the All-America Team. Brockman made the list last season, which is whittled down to 30 at midseason. /

It’s great to see Isaiah getting some national attention. It really is. Last year, I think a lot of Husky fans had that “am I going crazy?” feeling about Isaiah not getting much national attention, until his ESPN appearance made the rest of the country aware of his awesomeness.


Strange to hear that Josh Smith and Tony Wroten will play football this year in addition to hoops. They are, after all, just kids. But, jeez, I’ll be holding my breath every time either of those guys gets tackled and puts his future NBA millions at risk.


Here’s a quick dunk video of Clarence Trent that I hadn’t seen before.


I was astonished at how many of you showed up and voted in Part II of the Husky Hoops fan poll. Turnout for Part I was good, but the number of you that showed up for Part II was f*&$ing heartwarming.

Here’s how you answered the questions, and then, my thoughts on the same questions:

Which guard will start more games this year?

83% of you said “Abdul Gaddy″

17% of you said “Venoy Overton”

My thoughts: I think this is going to be closer than many of us think. I want to believe Gaddy is going to come in and be a poised, error-free point guard, but freshman are nearly always more error-prone, and need to develop poise by gaining experience. I’m going to go with Gaddy here too, but more because I love Venoy as a sixth man energy jolt. But, come crunchtime, I think you’re going to see a lot of Venoy too.

Other than Abdul Gaddy, which freshman will make the biggest impact this year?

66% of you said “Tyreese Breshers”

20% of you said “Clarence Trent”

14% of you said “C.J. Wilcox”

My thoughts: I agree that it’s not going to be Wilcox, because his best case is probably to squeak ahead of Scott Suggs as the team’s fifth guard. Breshers is the pick here, but as I wrote a few weeks ago, I’m very excited about Clarence Trent coming to town.

Statistically speaking, which of these players will show the biggest improvement this season?

40% of you said “Matthew Bryan-Amaning”

35% of you said “Elston Turner”

14% of you said “Darnell Gant”

7% of you said “Justin Holiday”

4% of you said “Venoy Overton”

My thoughts: My next big opinion piece is going to be about Justin Holiday, who I think has such a redonkulous amount of untapped potential he could bring this team to another level. As far as this question, though, statistically-speaking, I think we’ll be in a lot of trouble if the answer isn’t MBA, although I have my serious doubts. I do think Venoy could make a scoring jump, though, balancing the havoc he wreaks on the defensive end with what he does on the offensive side of the ball.

Pound for pound, who is the best player on the Huskies right now?

50% of you said “Isaiah Thomas”

46% of you said “Quincy Pondexter”

4% of you said “Other”

My thoughts: I’m going to go with the small minority here and say that I think Quincy’s game is just more developed at this point. I want to see Isaiah make less mistakes this year, which I think he will. But, when I look at this question, I think of all of the big possessions last year when Coach put the ball in Quincy’s hands and said gett’er did. And, nearly every time, Q-Pon got her done.

Will Quincy Pondexter be used more often as a small forward or power forward this season?

59% of you said “Small forward”

41% of you said “Power forward”

My thoughts: It doesn’t seem to be Lorenzo Romar’s inclination to tinker too much with his starting lineup to suit a certain matchup. (We started our usual five even in last year’s game against Oklahoma State’s four-guard lineup.) So, I think we’re going to see Quincy start at the three-spot. That said, when the match-up does call for it, I think we’re going to see a lot of lineups with two of the smaller guards, Elston Turner/Justin Holiday/Clarence Trent at the three, and Quincy at the four with only one of our three real big men on the floor. These lineups will be fast, defensively inclined, and still adequate on the boards.

Will Matthew Bryan-Amaning average more than 11 points and 7 rebounds per game?

35% of you said “More than 11 ppg, more than 7 rpg”

27% of you said “More than 11 ppg, less than 7 rpg”

20% of you said “Less than 11 ppg, more than 7 rpg″

18% of you said “Less than 11 ppg, less than 7 rpg″

My thoughts: I would be thrilled with an 11 and 7 season from MBA. Last season, recovering from an injury, MBA averaged 6 points and 4 boards. I believe with an additional 10 minutes per game, he can get to the 7 rebounds, but I’m less inclined to believe he can score in double figures. This is a guy who looked at times last season like he had no offensive game at all. He shot 45% for the season despite taking almost nothing longer than a jump hook. And, he looked unfazed at times, not as bothered by his lackluster play as his coaches or teammates.

There’s no one on the team whose ascendance to “star” level would do more for the Huskies than MBA, but I sadly have to say that I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m going with “under 11 points, over seven rebounds.”

Will Isaiah Thomas be among the top three scorers in the Pac-10?

82% of you said “Yes”

18% of you said “No”

My thoughts: I think it’s going to be four guards competing for the scoring crown: Jerome Randle of Cal, Tajuan Porter of Oregon, Nic Wise of Arizona, and Isaiah. That’s my top four in scoring, and I think I.T. will be in the top three.

Will Justin Holiday average more than four field goal attempts per game? (last year he averaged just under two)

57% of you said “Yes″

43% of you said “No″

My thoughts: This was my wishful thinking question. I just believe it’s not possible for someone to play the game so well in every other area while not having some kind of offensive game. I’m going to write plenty more about this soon. Can you tell I’m excited about Holiday?

Which of these players is least likely to be a regular starter for the Dawgs?

51% of you said “Darnell Gant”

28% of you said “Matthew Bryan-Amaning”

21% of you said “Abdul Gaddy”

My thoughts: I do think all three of these guys are going to start, but I’m curious as to why so many people think Darnell Gant is in such danger of losing his starting spot this year. We’ve only got three big men, so I’m going to say the one who started last year is the most safe. I’m going to say MBA is the one who will be pushed by Tyreese Breshers if he doesn’t step it up early on.

Which of these players is most likely to find his way into the regular starting lineup this season?

36% of you said “Tyreese Breshers″

26% of you said “Elston Turner″

23% of you said “Venoy Overton″

11% of you said “Justin Holiday”

3% of you said “Clarence Trent”

1% of you said “Chris Wilcox”

0% of you said “Scott Suggs”

My thoughts: I agree with those of you that picked Breshers. But, I can’t see a scenario in which Elston Turner starts very often unless there’s an injury in the backcourt. He’s going to be our instant offense off the bench this year, but my guess is that he won’t start unless Coach goes with that small lineup where Quincy is our power forward.

Thanks for coming!