Media covering West Virginia and around the country had a variety of questions for Tacoma's own sophomore guard Isaiah Thomas.
Some of his responses:
On UW’s cross-country travel: “Sweet 16 -- there’s no time for excuses. (West Virginia) traveled, even though they didn’t travel as far as us. We got that extra day in there we are getting used to the time difference and just get ready for (the game). It really isn’t going to factor into what we’re doing.”
On playing in the Carrier Dome, the same building where the Syracuse football team plays, and where quarterback Jake Locker made his UW debut: “It’s big. The hoop is 10-feet (high) though, so it’ll be good. It’s the same hoop as back home, just the arena is big.”
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On the story that he was named “Isaiah” Thomas because of a lost bet, and what he would have been named otherwise: “Magic,” he said, cracking up both reporters and himself. “No, no, I don’t know. I never asked my dad or mom that. I’ll ask them once they get here and let you know.”
A few other notes from today's media sessions:
Establishing tempo: UW coach Lorenzo Romar was asked how the Huskies would be able to dictate tempo in a game that the Mountaineers will probably want to slow down.
His answer: They probably can’t.
“If your five are just extremely talented and the other five aren’t as talented, you can impose your will,” he said. ‘But if that’s not the case, the team that wants to slow it down usually can get you to do that.”
Huggins’ ‘house’: One of the reasons the national media appreciates Romar is that he often gives great quotes. There was an excellent example today, when asked about the style of West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, a longtime friend.
“I was just explaining using this analogy to someone about Coach Huggins’ teams: Over the years, my mother moved in different homes, and I don’t care what the home looked like on the outside, eventually the inside looked exactly like the other houses. She decorated it the same way. You knew exactly what to look for in each house after a while.
“And I don’t care where Coach Huggins is, after a while his teams start to look the same way. And you can see this team is starting to look like the teams he had at Cincinnati: the long, athletic guys that just play extremely hard, are mentally tough and just come out and get after you.”
Pac-10 revisited: The respective conferences have been a media issue in each tournament game so far. And that was the case again Wednesday, as Big East reporters asked Romar if there is satisfaction in representing the Pacific-10 Conference here.
“There were a couple of unfortunate (Pac-10) losses in the non-conference schedule early that didn’t look very good for the league,” Romar said. “At the time some players were ineligible, some players were hurt. And once that happened, the Pac-10 kind of got labeled for the rest of the year: No need to look at them anymore, we know what they’re about.”