Washington’s better than Kansas, says USC’s O’Neill

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USC nearly knocked off No. 3 Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. So maybe it’s not a surprise who Kevin O’Neill thinks Washington is the most talented team the Trojans have played this season.

That’s right, Washington.

He and UCLA coach Ben Howland were both stunned the Huskies finally got back in the AP poll this week (at No. 23). In their view, Washington’s Final Four good.

O’Neill’s quote from the Pac-10 coaches teleconference on Tuesday morning:

“”We played excellent people in the preseason. We played at Nebraska. We played at Kansas, at Tennessee, Texas at home (and) I thought they were maybe the deepest and most talented team that we’ve played. They were hard for us to deal with. Their length off the bench really gave us problems. We’re not huge at the guard spot and that gave us problems. We had our chances. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but they had something to do with that. The thing that impressed me the most I thought Isaiah Thomas was totally under control and ran the team and made the decisions in both games over the weekend. I think that’s why they’re an improved thing more than anything. … To me they’re doing all of the things you need to do to be successful and have a chance to play for a championship by the end of the year.”

Two thoughts:

USC has to play Washington again this season. The last thing O’Neill wants to do is give UW some bulletin board material.

And his statement loses 95 percent of by including Nebraska on that list.

Nice try, Kevin. Nice try.

Want more? I’m also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller.