UW's Terrence Ross getting preseason buzz

The always-entertaining Isaiah Thomas conducted an online chat with the Seattle Times today and had some interesting thoughts. The former Washington guard likes UCLA to win the league if the Huskies don't, called the court at Oregon's Matthew Knight Arena "ugly," and also said of new Sacramento Kings teammate Jimmer Fredette, "He's like the Justin Bieber of basketball. Everywhere we go, people are crying over him."

The declaration from Thomas that should excite Washington fans was this:

Terrence Ross is the most talented player I've played with during my time at the UW.

During the three years Thomas was in Washington, he played with the likes of future NBA draft picks Jon Brockman and Quincy Pondexter. So that's a high compliment for Ross, the 6-foot-6 guard who made the honorable mention all-conference freshman team. Ross averaged eight points per game, and there have been other indications he's ready for a breakout season.

Percy Allen of the Seattle Times recently watched pickup games on campus and had this observation:

Even with NBA players on the court, at times Ross looked like the best player on the floor. Still if you were drafting a team of the players Thursday, the 7-1 [Spencer] Hawes would probably be the first person taken. But Ross would likely go No. 2. He thrives in an open-gym setting. He wowed the few folks in the stands with high-flying dunks, alley-oop slams and putback jams. Whenever anyone guarded him one-on-one, Ross either tried to blow past them with a dribble drive or he jabbed and whirled to create room for a fadeaway jump shot. Ross, a 20-year-old sophomore, also looks much more chiseled than he did last season.

That's great news for the Huskies, who will be looking for a go-to player after Thomas left for the NBA draft and Justin Holiday and Matthew Bryan-Amaning completed their eligibility.

A lot of the attention will be focused on the backcourt with the arrival of flashy freshman Tony Wroten and the return of Abdul Gaddy from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

But don't forget about Ross.