Since the formation of the Pac-10 Conference in 1978, only two University of Washington guards had a greater statistical impact than Isaiah Thomas is having this year. Brandon Roy’s scoring, rebounding and assist averages in 2006 added up to 29.6. Quincy Pondexter’s combined average last year: 28.4. Thomas follows closely at 26.6. The top 10 such averages (this is a double-bonus Top 5 List) by a UW guard since the conference expanded to 10 teams 33 years ago:
Brandon Roy, 2006: During an All-America season so good that the Huskies eventually retired his jersey No. 3 (first since Bob Houbregs), Roy averaged 20.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists. Since, he has been named to three NBA All-Star teams, most by an ex-UW player.
Quincy Pondexter, 2010: The Pac-10 Player of the Week a record five times during his senior season, Pondexter averaged 19.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists, and was runnerup for the conference Player of the Year award. He then went to New Orleans in the NBA Draft.
Isaiah Thomas, 2011: Currently averaging 16.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists (last Husky to average more assists was Will Conroy at 6.4 in 2005), Thomas has been the Pac-10 Player of the Week twice in the past three weeks. A week ago, he became the first Husky to record double figures in assists in back-to-back games since Rafael Stone in 1969 — 41 years ago.
Eldridge Recasner, 1989: A relatively new enshrinee in the Pac-10 Hall of Honor, Recasner had his best statistical year as a junior, averaging 18.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists. A four-year starter, Recasner scored 1,700 points during his career, the No. 6 mark in school history.
Nate Robinson, 2005: In leading the Huskies to their first No. 1 NCAA Tournament seeding in school history, Robinson averaged 16.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists. He became Washington’s first Associated Press All-American (third team) since James Edwards in 1976 and the first guard so honored since Louie Nelson in 1973.
Donald Watts, 1998: Running alongside Jan Wooten and Deon Luten in a three-guard set, Watts averaged 16.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and a team-leading 4.5 assists. Not only did Watts not make the All-Pac-10 team, he didn’t even receive Honorable Mention consideration. Luten, who averaged 15.4 points, did get an Honorable Mention nod.
Isaiah Thomas, 2010: A sophomore, Thomas made first-team All-Pac-10 by averaging 16.9 points (also his current scoring average), 3.9 rebounds (also his current rebound average) and 3.2 assists, well off his current mark. Abdul Gaddy’s absence has enabled Thomas to expand his game.
Eldridge Recasner, 1988: Playing alongside Troy Morrell and Jeff Sanor in a three-guard set, Recasner made his first All-Pac-10 team by averaging 17.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Despite his numbers, it’s remarkable he made first-team All-Pac-10, considering that the Huskies went 10-19 under Andy Russo.
Bob Fronk, 1981: Fronk and forward Andre Griffin co-captained the 1981 Huskies, who went 14-13 under Marv Harshman. Fronk averaged 16.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and a team-leading 4.4 assists for a 23.2 impact number. Griffin’s impact number: 25.4 — but Griffin had only nine assists all season.
Eldridge Recasner, 1990: Became the first Husky guard in the Pac-10 era to make three consecutive All-Conference teams after averaging 16.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists. Recasner’s streak of three straight All-Conference nods has been accomplished by only one other UW guard, Brandon Roy.
“Top 5 List” is published every Friday as part of Sportspress Northwests package of home-page features collectively titled, The Rotation.
The Rotations weekly schedule:
- Monday: That Was The Week That Was A snarky, day-by-day review of the week just ended.
- Tuesday: Wayback Machine — Sports historian David Eskenazi’s deep dive into local sports history, replete with photo eye candy.
- Wednesday: Nobody Asks But Us — We ask, and answer, fun and quirky questions nobody else is asking.
- Thursday: Water Cooloer Cool: Art Thiel takes on the weekend for the benefit of the more casual fan.
- Friday: Top 5 List — The alpha and omega of Northwest sports, at least as far as we’re concerned.