However, there's just no ignoring freshman Terrence Ross' career-high 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field.
And after the game, coach Lorenzo Romar inched very close to the highest level of praise available to him when asked about Ross' talent level:
“I’d say in terms of just his talent alone, he’s right up there with Brandon Roy,” Romar said. “… Spencer Hawes was really talented – to be able to do what he does at 6-11, the way he passes and shoots -- he’s really talented. Terrence is up there. He’s up there with the top couple.”
More talk about -- and from -- Ross:
More Romar:Terrence Ross obviously had a phenomenal basketball game. ... I wouldn’t have told you he’d be averaging 17 points a game in Pac-10 play. I’m not sure we’ve had any freshman do that. Isaiah was close. But that’s pretty good. He’s done it on the road. He’s done it in tight situations. He’s been pretty consistent lately. If he would have played more in the second half I’m sure he would have been in double digits against UCLA. He’s really come into his own quickly. He’s giving the coaching staff a lot of confidence in him.
"With freshmen, what freshmen don’t understand when they’re being recruited and when they end up getting somewhere is that it’s not just your ability to make shots. If you’re going to play for a program that’s going to be successful, you have to guard, you have to run certain things and get the ball to the right people in the right spots, you have to remember everything that you’re doing offensively and defensively. Oftentimes, it’s entirely different conceptually than anything you’ve ever done and when you’re thinking, offense goes. There’s no coincidence that we’re seeing Terrence Ross’ athleticism more. When you’re thinking, it takes your athleticism away. It handcuffs your athleticism. When you can go out and play without thinking, you have that ability and athleticism that comes out and I think that’s what we’re seeing with Terrence. Sometimes people question ‘Why wasn’t he playing that much earlier?’ He had to learn how to play right yet.
TERRENCE ROSSOn picking up the slack with Gaddy gone) "I knew that everybody on the bench was going to have to step up. Gaddy was a big part of our team, and we’re going to have to take on a little more of a load. I think we did pretty well."
On his hot shooting night) "Actually at the beginning of the game I didn’t really feel my shot. The coaches said we were taking too many contested threes and we needed to attack the basket. I think that’s when I got my game going. I got to the basket and they just kinda played off me. Then I hit a couple and had the chance to go right back to the basket."On if the college game is getting easier for him) "I’m getting more used to it. It’s a little faster now. I’m just settling down and getting used to it, and not thinking so much."
Oregon coach DANA ALTMANOn Ross) "He’s a great player, he got some of Gaddy’s minutes and he took advantage of it. He had a great game, really a great talent. So this particular night they didn’t miss Gaddy too bad because he took those minutes."
Oh yeah, and about that Thomas dunk...
"It was my first dunk," he said. "I have been waiting a long time for it. I always tell people, “If I get a fast break, I’m going to dunk one, but I’ve been too scared to miss. But this time I said, “Well, oh well. I’m just going to try.”