The Washington Huskies, off to their best conference start since 1987, received more respect and recognition today.
For the second time in three weeks, Washington guard Isaiah Thomas was named Pac-10 Player of the Week. It is also the third time this month that a Washington player was honored. Forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning was saluted the first week of January.
Thomas, the junior point guard from Tacoma’s Curtis High, averaged 20.5 points, 9.0 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals in a Huskies sweep of Arizona and Arizona State. The twin wins moved the Huskies record to 15-4, 7-1 in the Pac-10. The last time the Huskies started 7-1 was 23 years ago.
Thomas also shot 52.2 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from the 3-point line.
Thomas has been forced into the role as the primary point guard after the Jan. 8 injury to regular point guard Abdul Gaddy. He tore his ACL in practice and is out for the season.
Another one for Gaddy,” said Thomas, who also offered his first Pac-10 honor to his injured teammate.
Thomas won the award for the week preceding Jan. 10 in which the Huskies swept the Oregon schools.
He also had back-to-back 10-plus assists games against Cal and Arizona – for the first time since Rafael Stone in 1969. He’s also the first NCAA player to have at least 20 points and 10 assists in consecutive games since Northeastern’s Jose Juan Barea in February 2006.
Thomas leads the conference in assists at 5.79 and third in scoring at 16.9. He has moved up to seventh among Washington career assist leaders with 312. He also ranks 13th on the schools scoring list with 1,456 points.
Only one player can be nominated per school so Washington made a tough choice between Thomas and senior Bryan-Amaning, who had a career-high 30 points and nine rebounds Saturday against Arizona State.
The Huskies’ sweep of the Arizona schools, including their 85-68 victory over the then-No. 25 Wildcats, allowed them to move up two spots in the top 25 college basketball rankings.
The Huskies went from No. 20 to No. 18 in The Associated Press poll and from 20 to 17 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll.
The Huskies play just one game this week, Sunday at rival Washington State (14-6, 4-4).