Klay Thompson was still en route to Seattle when he held a conference call this afternoon as a lead up to Sunday's showdown with the Huskies in Pullman. Read on for what he had to say.
• Being we didn't have a chance to ask Thompson about his final shot after the game Saturday, I opened by wondering if he had thought about just pulling up and trying to hit a long 3 for all the marbles. He said no. Kyle Fogg was into him pretty good and he just tried to get the best look he could. He said he felt he got that, what he called an 8-footer that just didn't go. ... Also asked about having so long between games, the longest stretch since well before Christmas. It's a good thing, he said, saying the Cougars needed the time to regroup, recharge and get prepared for the Huskies. ... He said the NBA talk isn't a distraction at all because he will focus on his options after the season is over. There will be distractions then, he's sure. ... He touched again on WSU being his only Pac-10 offer, which was important to him, and the good job Tony Bennett and his staff did selling him on Pullman, playing time and competition. ... Asked questions about his Dad, Mychal, Thompson said he gets to see about six games a season, mainly on the road. He also feels he's lucky to have such a resource so close – they talk a lot on the phone – for advice, not only about college but about the next level. Feels like he'll enter the NBA with an advantage, a bit of a head start is how he put it. ... The balance on this year's team, as opposed to last season when the Cougars were so young, has helped keep the pressure off his shoulders. ... Now for the Huskies. ... Thompson had nothing but praise for Isaiah Thomas, saying he's a much better playmaker than people give him credit for. He hopes the Cougars' length defensively can cause him some problems. ... The UW defense features some great defenders, Thompson said, who are athletic and physical. ... Success on Sunday depends on defending well and rebounding, keeping UW off the glass and limiting its second-chance points. WSU also has to take care of the ball and be patient on the offensive end.
• The Pac-10 announced its 2011 Hall of Honor award winners this morning and Washington State's honoree is Ray Sundquist, who played for the Cougars before World War II. Here's the official summary as announced by the conference ...
Ray Sundquist, Washington State - Sundquist was the captain of the 1941 Cougar team that reached the finals of the NCAA Tournament. Sundquist was an outstanding playmaker and scorer at guard on the Washington State team that set a Pacific Coast Conference record by winning 13-consecutive conference games. The Cougars won the Northern Division title that year with a 13-3 record and defeated Stanford for the PCC title. Washington State defeated Creighton and Arkansas for the Western NCAA title before falling to Wisconsin, 39-35, in the national championship. Sundquist was named to the Helm’s Foundation All-America team after the 1941 season. He was a first team All-Northern Division and All-PCC honoree that year. Sundquist was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and Crimson Circle, the senior scholarship service honorary. He was also senior class president. Following his career as a Cougar, Sundquist served in the Army from 1943 to 1946 in the South Pacific following World War II, attaining the rank of Captain. He received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Philippine Liberation Medal, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, American Theatre Service Medal, Army Commendation Ribbon and the World War II Victory Medal. A prominent businessman in the Grays Harbor area of Washington for many years, Sundquist also owned the popular Misfit Restaurant in Pullman during the 1970s. He was inducted into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1979. Sundquist passed away on August 11, 1990, at the age of 71.
• And that's about it. We'll be back as events warrant. Until then ...