Speaking in a conference call tonight from the Final Four in Houston, coach Lorenzo Romar said his team lost a lot on the court and in terms of leadership with Isaiah Thomas' decision to go to the NBA.
However, Romar said that just as the injury to Abdul Gaddy created opportunities for others, this departure will create voids for other players to fill next season.
More Romar comments:
* Thomas will probably be drafted. He also says had Thomas decided to return it likely would have been more for the college experience rather than to improve himself for the NBA scouts.
* You don't understand how big the jump to the NBA is until you do it, but Thomas has "a decent understanding that you don't just walk in there and take a job" -- thanks in part to his friends and mentors in the league.
* This makes it likely that recruit Andrew Andrews will enroll in the fall rather than going to prep school.
* This is "pretty close" to the most his UW teams have ever lost an off-season.
* "I can't condemn him for changing his mind." ... And in fact he's welcome to change his mind again.
* Scouts will be happy with Thomas' scoring and have already gotten a good look at how he can run a team.
* Said he didn't try to talk Thomas out of this decision. "I've just kind of learned that when guys have their minds made up, all I can do is be honest with them."
* "I think our perimeter is potentially really good" next season. "I like the potential of that group, I really do."
* "I don't think there's any question" that Gaddy will be fine by the time the Huskies start playing games.
* "When someone signed with us we have a pretty good idea if they have the potential to leave prematurely ... and if that's the case we try to make sure that we have someone following up behind them."
* Says teammates probably not shocked because Isaiah and his teammates "talk all the time."
* Next team's leadership can come from Gant and Gaddy. "As we look to the future those are guys who will step up and lead."
* Says he and Thomas talked about his move back to shooting guard next season but doesn't think that played a big part in his decision.
* "Obviously we're still looking for a big guy. ... I'm sure we'll fill (two scholarships)" and have more flexibility about what other position is recruited.
* If Thomas had returned, Thomas could have been "a national player of the year candidate."
* Says every team at the Final Four has a reason for being there, and what plays out "is going to be fun to watch."