The Washington Huskies sweep in Los Angeles impressed USC coach Kevin O'Neill and UCLA coach Ben Howland.
Here's part of their takes on the Huskies from today's Pac-10 coaches' conference call.
O'Neill: We’ve played excellent people in the preseason. We played at Nebraska. We played at Kansas, at Tennessee, Texas at home. I thought they were maybe the deepest most talented team we played. They were hard for us to deal with. Their length off the bench really gave us problems. We’re not huge at the guard spots. That gave us problems. We had our chances. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but they had something to do with that. The thing that impressed me the most, I thought Isaiah Thomas was totally under control and ran the team and made good decisions in both games over the weekend, and I think that’s why they’re an improved team more than anything. ... They’re a team that feels really good about themselves. They play well together. They play hard. They share the ball. So to me they’re doing all the things you need to do to be successful and have a chance to play for a championship at the end of the year."
Howland: They’re a very good team. They have a lot of experience. They have everybody back but their best player that went to the Sweet 16. And when you have that kind of talent coming back from a team that advances to the Sweet 16, and they won the conference tournament: There’s no question they should be nationally ranked. I think it’s a little unfair of the national media not to get that. I think Washington can beat anybody in the country on a given day. I really am impressed with Bryan-Amaning and how he has improved this year and is really really a force inside. Obviously Isaiah is one of the best guards in the country and they play great team defense. They have a lot of guys that hustle and they play really hard. You’ve got to recognize that Washington have a very very good team."