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The Brewery

A gathering place for sports analysis and opinion with Seattle Times sports columnist Jerry Brewer.

January 20, 2011 at 10:30 AM

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Theme Song: Pondering the right music for ... Isaiah Thomas

Posted by Jerry Brewer

Thumbnail image for ThomasLok.jpg
Seattle Times photo by John Lok

NOTE: Check me out at 4 p.m. today on 950 KJR-AM's The Gas Man Show, where we'll do the radio version of Theme Song and discuss the Seahawks' hiring of Tom Cable, among other topics.

There's not a perimeter player in college basketball performing any better than Washington point guard Isaiah Thomas right now. Sure, there is a short list of guys playing as well - BYU's Jimmer Fredette, Connecticut's Kemba Walker, Purdue's E'Twaun Moore and Missouri's Marcus Denmon all belong in the conversation. But as good as all of those guards are, Thomas doesn't have to take a back seat to anyone in terms of value to his team, leadership and all-around playmaking ability.

Ever since the Huskies lost Abdul Gaddy to an ACL injury a couple of weeks ago, Thomas has assumed the lead guard responsibilities and turned into perhaps the most complete guard in the nation. He's averaging 9.3 assists in his last four games. For the season, he's averaging 16.5 points and a Pac-10 conference-leading 5.4 assists per game. His assist/turnover ratio is better than 2 to 1. He's shooting a career-best 45.7 percent from the field despite being undersized at 5 feet 9. He's the maestro of the nation's third-highest scoring offense (87.1 points per game), and I'm not sure there's a defense that can stop him now that he's so unselfish. You must pick your poison with Thomas: Let him drive and score, or pay too much attention to him and watch him dish to his deadly shooters for open jumpers.

The evolution of Thomas from scoring machine to floor general has been amazing to watch. With the No. 20 Huskies playing a big-time game against Arizona (No. 25 in coaches' poll) at Hec Ed tonight, there's no better time to appreciate IT in song.

"Raise The Roof" by Luke, featuring Good But Not So Good

This is kind of a gag theme song. For several weeks, Thomas has been attempting to bring back raising the roof. He has been on a Twitter campaign, and after the first dunk of his college career against Oregon, he raised the roof in celebration.

When I asked him about it after that game, Thomas said: "Some old-school stuff. I'm a trendsetter, so I've just got to bring it back. I took it back to the Cynthia Cooper days."

He seems determined to make raising the roof his throwback trademark. He's also trying to get other Seattle athletes to do the same. So I guess The Brewery has just contributed to spreading the movement.

But here's a deeper reason this song might fit: Thomas truly is raising the roof on his talent. Just when you thought you knew his ceiling, he has shown another dimension. He's starting to look more and more like a legitimate NBA player. There's not much use in The League for a 5-9 shooting guard. But there's always room for true point guards, and now that the league is legislated to allow speedy guards to have their way, Thomas' ability to drive and kick has some value.

He's not a lottery pick or anything, but you should know by now not to underestimate Thomas. He'll just keep getting better.

"The Good Life" by Kanye West, featuring T-Pain

When you're rolling like Thomas currently is, a good song reveling in success makes for nice theme music. Thomas is living the good life, and he knows and appreciates it. He doesn't take it for granted.

I especially like it when Kanye says, "Now I, I go for mine. I've got to shine."

That's very much Thomas' mentality. Because he's short, because of the style he plays, he has been criticized a lot. He's probably not supposed to be as good as he is, but he uses the doubt as fuel. And he goes after what he wants.

"I put on for My City" by Young Jeezy, featuring Kanye West

This is my choice because, more than anything, Thomas loves to represent his hometown. Actually, he loves to represent every place that has made him successful.

First and foremost, he loves Tacoma, loves being from Tacoma and never misses an opportunity to express that. He also loves being part of the brotherhood of basketball players in the Puget Sound region who have made this area a hoops haven. And, of course, he represents the University of Washington and the Husky basketball program every time he takes the court.

And I think he has done a fine job being a representative. He's only halfway through his junior season, and he has already matured to the point that he only cares about winning. He plays every game with championship intensity. He stays out of trouble off the court. His Washington teams have a 65-23 record (.739 winning percentage). If he stays through his senior season and enjoys more NCAA tournament success, Thomas might wind up being considered the greatest winner in UW hoops history.

So he is doing plenty for his city, his region and his university. And Thomas is far from being finished.

OK, your turn. If you have a theme song for the Isaiah Thomas, I'd love for you to share it with me.

Fed up with my long-winded ways? Follow me on Twitter: @Jerry_Brewer. Sometimes, I don't even use all 140 characters there.

Week 1: Pete Carroll
Week 2: Ichiro
Week 3: Jake Locker
Week 4: T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Week 5: Steve Sarkisian
Week 6: Matt Hasselbeck
Week 7: Lauren Jackson
Week 8: Felix Hernandez
Week 9: Lorenzo Romar
Week 10: Marshawn Lynch
Week 11: Tim Lincecum
Week 12: Charlie Whitehurst
Week 13: Dave Niehaus
Week 14: Nick Holt
Week 15: The 2010 Husky football team
Week 16: Cliff Lee
Week 17: The 2010 Seahawks
Week 18: Mike Williams

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