As you might have seen by now, Isaiah Thomas has announced that he will leave the University of Washington a year early to enter the NBA draft. I didn’t really expect this, and when I first saw the news, I thought he would just test the waters and change his mind. His press conference today made it pretty clear that’s not the plan, however. Maybe he’ll change his mind, but I’m not betting on it.
Before this past year, IT was a guy I liked having on the team, but he wasn’t my favorite player by any means. There was no reason why not, just no connection there. Then, this past year he matured as a player and person before our eyes and became one of the most enjoyable players I remember. He could dominate, he was a leader, and he played with a passion and intensity that he always managed to control and put to use. He wasn’t perfect, but he was so much fun to watch, and so easy to cheer for.
I was really excited to see what next year would be like, with Isaiah running beside Ross and Wroten and Gaddy and Wilcox. It would have been a fast, crazy team. I don’t know how good they would have been, but it could have been great. Now, it feels like UW is starting over. They still have lots of talent, but they need to establish a new center of the program.
Best of luck to Isaiah, and I hope he proves everyone with doubts about his height wrong. I won’t be a bit surprised when he does. If he decide to change his mind in the next month, I’ll be incredibly grateful. UW basketball won’t be the same without him.