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Originally published Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 3:18 PM

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An alphabetical look at Washington's season

Though not even half as flashy as Isaiah Thomas' drives into the lane, here is all you need to know before the Pac-10 tournament champion Washington Huskies begin the NCAA tournament Thursday afternoon:

AP Sports Writer


Though not even half as flashy as Isaiah Thomas' drives into the lane, here is all you need to know before the Pac-10 tournament champion Washington Huskies begin the NCAA tournament Thursday afternoon:

A: Abdul Gaddy, the Huskies' ultra-hyped recruiting coup struggled through a humbling freshman season, lost his starting job.

B: Brandon Roy, UW's recent Pac-10 player of the year and star with the Portland Trail Blazers remains big brother to Huskies via texts, calls, visits, specter.

C: C.J. Wilcox. Forgotten as a redshirt this season, bomber from Utah expected to provide needed long-range shooting in 2010-11.

D: Dismal desert drubbing. Humiliating, blowout losses Jan. 8-10 at ASU, Arizona came without defensive whiz Justin Holiday, left UW in last place in Pac-10.

E: Eat your veggies! Last summer at World University Games in Serbia, leading scorer Quincy Pondexter broke 3-year boycott of McDonald's stemming from being left off its HS All-America team, because of dorm soup that "looked like it had pigs' eyes" in it.

F: Friendly foes. Texas A&M's Derrick Roland shattered his leg in loss at Hec Ed then spent Christmas Eve in Seattle hospital. Pondexter, coach Lorenzo Romar came to Roland's bedside bearing gifts.

G: Gonzaga, the team everyone in the state wants UW to begin playing again. Dawgs tried to get Zags to come to KeyArena for annual "neutral" game. Zags' response: "Uh ... no."

H: Hayward, Lazar - Marquette's strong, versatile, 6-6 center whom Huskies must slow down to advance past first round of NCAAs.

I: "You can't stop I.T.!" The sign remained inside Hec Ed Pavilion while brash Isaiah Thomas dazzled, became a complete, valuable guard this season.

J: Justin Holiday. Hs long arms, lock-down defense turned around season. The first weekend he became a starter, UW beat Stanford by 33 and Cal by 15.

K: South Kent (Conn.) prep school, where Washington got Thomas, Matthew Bryan-Amaning and assistant coach Raphael Chillious.


L: Lorenzo Romar. Cool, classy, consistent, with a great wit that makes work fun. Has UW in 5th NCAAs in 7 years. Moved into 3rd on Huskies all-time wins list (now 160).

M: "MBA." Bryan-Amaning's emergence as a force inside lessened burden on Pondexter, Thomas, coincided with season turnaround.

N: "No way!" The reaction of the 5-8 Thomas when told he will enjoy a height advantage on tiny Marquette point guard Maurice Acker.

O: One time in the last 32 years, and only twice ever. That's how often Washington and Marquette have played. Last meeting was Jan. 21, 1978. Butch Lee had 18 to lead MU to 71-63 win.

P: Purdue in Portland. Thomas still isn't over the narrow loss to the Boilermakers in last spring's NCAAs.

Q: Q-Pon. Quincy Pondexter emerged from years in shadows of Hawes, Brockman to exceed even own team's expectations. A record five Pac-10 player of the week awards, a 20-points per game average - UW's only senior even played "Grandfather," with tights and all, in the Pacific Northwest Ballet's holiday Nutcracker production.

R: Cal's Jerome Randle almost ending UW's season. He went off for 21 points in the first half, and Cal cruised Feb. 11 to seemingly doom Dawgs.

S: Seattle U. The renewed, in-city rivalry turned bizarre Jan. 26 when former UW assistant Cameron Dollar ordered Redhawks to foul incessantly - while down by 30 points. 78 fouls, 61 UW free throws and almost 3 hours later, Huskies won 123-46. Seattle U finished with four players on floor because six fouled out.

T: Thomas has 1,087 points, the most ever by a Washington player in his first two seasons.

U: USC, on Feb. 18. That's the last time Huskies lost. Seven consecutive wins since saved season and NCAA dream.

V: Venoy Overton. Trash-talking, chest-bumping, defensive pest remains the one Husky you love having on your team - and the guy you hate as an opponent.

X: X-ray. What Thomas doesn't want to get again now that he's played almost a month with a shooting hand that is likely broken. He will play Thursday likely wearing a thinner glove that has less of an effect on his shooting.

Y: Young. The great thing about Washington's immediate future is that after two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, nine players are sophomores or freshmen this season.

Z: Zapped by a marathon. Overton was benched for the start of early season win over Montana because his drive to the morning shoot-around was detoured by the Seattle Marathon.

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