A Tired, Happy Isaiah Thomas

by Lara Boyko

LOS ANGELES - No matter how much he was beaming while cutting down the net, Washington's 5-foot-9 point guard Isaiah Thomas is tired.

"The playing time during the tournament has been all right, but I am a little tired," said Thomas, who hit the game-winning shot for the Huskies. "I'll do whatever it takes. I just wanted to win."

There is a good reason for his fatigue. He has been playing more minutes during the Pacific Life Pac-10 Basketball Tournament due to the off-court distractions that keep pestering the Husky team. Most recently it was the suspension of senior teammate Venoy Overton right before the tournament that thrust the spotlight onto the shortest member of the team.

"Isaiah averaged over 40 minutes a game and saved his best for last in this game here today. He did a great job of leading. And our group, our team did a great job of joining in with him, kind of following his lead," said Washington coach Lorenzo Romar.

These extra minutes for Thomas have turned into points for the Huskies. During the first half of the championship game win against Arizona, Thomas set a new single game record this season with 19 points in the first half. In addition, he set a new tournament record for assists with 28.

Yet Thomas is not feeling sorry for himself and his fatigue. Instead, he has welcomed the challenge and is anxious for more as the Huskies' season continues.

"Having this kind of playing time gives you a lot of confidence for the NCAA Tournament," said Thomas "It's big because I knew this team could do this."

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