Huskies Excited To Start Season

Oct. 7, 2008

SEATTLE (AP) -Finally, there's a bit of promising optimism from a sports team in this slumping city.

'Our guys sure seem to have a pretty good attitude and are on the same page,' Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said Tuesday. 'I don't sense our guys have a false confidence at all. I sense our guys have an attitude of 'Let's get started because we're excited to see what we can accomplish this year.''

Chat online with Jon Brockman on Oct. 16 at 1:30 p.m. Submit your questions early here

Single game tickets to UW non-league games are on sale now through the Husky Ticket Office.

The Huskies begin practice late next week in preparation for their season opener at Portland on Nov. 15. Romar is eager for practice to begin so he can see how an experienced group of veteran leaders - headlined by bruising forward Jon Brockman - meshes with some brash and talented young stars, led by diminutive guard Isaiah Thomas.

While the rest of the city wallows in the struggles of the Seahawks and Huskies on the football field, and the departure of the SuperSonics, the Washington basketball program thinks it could fill the void with a team that is reminiscent of a few years ago when the Huskies made three consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament.

The up-tempo, high-scoring approach that made Washington a favorite of highlight films and turned Nate Robinson and Brandon Roy into first-round NBA draft picks may very well be back.

'I wish I would have known what this felt like when I was a freshman, sophomore and junior, because I would have had a better understanding for what those other guys were feeling, because it definitely means a lot more knowing this is the last time you're going to do it,' Brockman said.

The last two seasons have been underachieving disappointments for Brockman and his teammates. Two years ago, with 7-footer Spencer Hawes the main focus, Washington finished 19-12, but missed the postseason. Last year, the Huskies qualified for the fledgling College Basketball Invitational postseason tournament, only to lose 72-71 at home to Valparaiso in the first round. Washington finished the year 16-17.

The arrival of Thomas - along with fellow freshmen Tyreese Breshers, Scott Suggs and Elston Turner - has been anticipated for some time. Thomas is the gem of the group, even at just 5-8, but with a scoring punch that has electrified anyone who has seen him play. Thomas stole the show at the Washington Class 4A state prep basketball tournament a few years ago, averaging 41.5 points and scoring 51 points in one game.

He spent the last two years at South Kent Prep in Connecticut and was the league MVP in his first year at the school. Supremely confident, Thomas says he knows he'll make an impact as a freshman.

'You guys are going to like it this year,' he said. 'We're going to put on a little show.'

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