Not as in, "Finally we're done with our nonconference schedule and can get down to the business of defending our Pac-10 conference championship."
Actually, Thomas was simply relieved that finally, he had made a field goal. His eight other attempts in the game missed, and the sophomore has been in a shooting slump of late. Oh, and Thomas probably didn't get that Bentley he asked for this Christmas, either.
Expectations are low for the Pac-10 this season, and ready or not, conference play begins later this week with the Huskies as the only team that's ranked.
In Joe Lunardi's first in-season bracket of the year, Washington is projected to be a No. 5 seed. Cal gets a No. 9 seed. And with apologies to USC, that's all for the Pac-10 so far.
Starting Thursday with Oregon State, Washington gets its chance to beat up on Pac-10 opponents that didn't exactly help the conference's national reputation.
But concerns remain even with a 9-2 record, as Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar has had to play Whac-A-Mole with his team's struggles at times.
Before the game against USF, he warned the Huskies of it being a trap game and put an emphasis on sharing the basketball and keeping up a consistent defensive effort.
The Huskies went out and couldn't maintain its rhythm against the low-level WCC team, only leading the Dons 47-43 with 11:43 to go before pulling away. Tyreese Breshers came off the bench and blocked four shots to go along with12 points. Washington didn't turn over the basketball much, but was also out-rebounded for the game.
Thomas, meanwhile, found a way to make a difference despite his recent shooting woes. He entered the game scoring 18.8 points per game but only scored a season-low of four against USF. He did manage six assists against the Dons and had seven rebounds last week against Texas A&M.
Guard Quincy Pondexter, the team's lone senior and unquestioned team leader, is doing his part as the nation's 12th-leading scorer at 21.9 points per game. He's also looking for more out of his team.
"I think as a team, and the coaches, we were really disappointed by our lack of concentration," Pondexter told reporters after the game. "We really wanted to play a lot better than we did tonight. Going into the Pac-10, you want to build up some momentum."