UW freshman Isaiah Thomas said today that he can't remember the last time a coach chose to have him on the bench at crunch time in a close game.
But that's where he was Saturday, as the Huskies gutted out their 60-51 win over USC.
"It was weird," Thomas said. "We won so I can't complain about it. We won, and that's all that matters. But it was something different. I've never had that."
Coach Lorenzo Romar said Thomas sat because Venoy Overton was impacting the game by playing energetic defense and driving USC's Dwight Lewis to distraction.
"That was a game situation where Venoy's defensive pressure had changed the game around and we just decided to go with that," Romar explained. "And then Justin Dentmon, down the stretch, he was guarding well too."
Thomas ended up with four points in 27 minutes. Dentmon had eight points in 32 minutes. Overton had seven points -- and three steals -- in 21 minutes.
Romar said the decision isn't expected to become a trend.
And Thomas took the attitude that all's well that ends well.
"I was ready, but our teammates got the victory for us," he said. "It was something that had never happened to me, and I hope it never happens again. But we won."