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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

January 4, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Michael Dunigan wins POW, Quincy Pondexter on KJR

Dunigan 2.JPG
Photo credit: AP PHOTO – Elaine Thompson
Before we get to Oregon’s Michael Dunigan (above) and Quincy Pondexter, here’s one more note on USC.
A reader asked in an earlier post what’s going to happen with the Pac-10 tournament now that the Trojans have banned themselves from postseason competition.
Just spoke with a conference spokesman and he said the Pac-10 has yet to meet on the matter and make any definitive moves. Fox Sports Net owns the rights to the tournament so you can imagine the network isn’t pleased it’s losing a game. Especially a game that includes one of the Los Angeles schools.
Anyway, what will most likely happen is the tourney will be seeded based on the final conference standings, excluding USC.
Most likely, there will only be just one game on Wednesday, March 10 between the No. 8-9 seeds and the No. 7 seed will receive a bye.
From there nothing changes. Thursday’s games begin with a game between the No. 4-5 seeds, followed by a game between the 8-9 winner and the top seed, then No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 2 vs. No. 7 in the nightcap.
— Dunigan, Oregon’s sophomore center, was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week after he starred in three Ducks wins over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Washington State and Washington.
He averaged 22.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 1.3 steals, while shooting 25-for-35 (71 percent) from the floor.
Other nominees included: Arizona’s Kyle Fogg; Cal’s Jerome Randle, Stanford’s Landry Fields and UW’s Isaiah Thomas.

— About 48 hours after their stunning 90-79 defeat to Oregon, UW’s senior captain wasn’t as emotional as he was immediately after the game. During an interview with KJR’s Dave Mahler, Pondexter slightly backtracked from post-game comments when he admitted the Huskies were too cocky at times this season.
Here’s the transcript.
(What happened Saturday?) “I have no idea. I can’t really explain it. Oregon just really wanted the game a lot more than we did it seemed like. We didn’t play with the same amount of heart as they did. We didn’t play like everything is on the line like it is when Pac-10 season starts, when Pac-10 basketball comes.”
(Did you sense any problems before the game?) “I never thought it would be an issue, but when the ball was tipped up and adversity came in the game I think they handled it a lot better than we did. They just played so much better. You got to give a lot of credit to those guys. They’re very talented and they came out with the win.

(Did Oregon do anything that caught UW offguard?)
“We were prepared for everything they did, but I don’t think we were prepared for how hard they were going to play us. Those guys came out hard and they tried to punch us in the mouth from the jump and they did a great job of playing basketball. They played with a lot of fire. Especially on a road game. You can tell they’re young, but they have a lot of veteran pieces to that team that they know what it takes to get it done.”

(Is UW too cocky?)
“I think it’s one of those things that’s hard to explain. With our team we have so just have many characters and personalities that it’s really hard to gauge if a team is really cocky or not. I think that’s more of the outsiders looking in. With us, we just want to play basketball. That’s how I look at it. I just want to play basketball and always will have fun with the game. I never think I’m good enough to be cocky anyway so, I think that’s my personal standpoint. It’s hard for me to really see what other people see because I’m around the guys all the time. It’s hard for me to tell if they’re cocky or not.”
(Do you feel like everyone is on the same page or can that improve?) “It can definitely improve. We’re in January. I know it’s pac-10 play, but our teamwork on the offensive end definitely can improve as well as on the defensive end. Soemtimes we have games where we don’t share the ball as much and have a lot of turnovers and that causes a lot of havoc on the offensive end. We just have to find a better balance for our team on the offensive end and continue to work and sharing the ball. And everything else will come easy for us. We just have to find a good rhythm to get started and from there I think the sky is the limit for this team.”
(Is the team responding to you as a leader?) “I think they’ve been responding pretty well. When you lose a game like this it’s frustrating. Maybe I should have done a better job of leading the guys in that standpoint because there’s no way we shouldn’t have came out and protected our home floor. I really (have) a lot of that responsibility. Times like that it really hurts me to see the guys not come out with the same fire from being led to play like a champion. It’s really early in Pac-10 season. I think we have a great opportunity to do some great things this year.”
(It feels like a big weekend in Arizona.) “This weekend is huge for us. Going through this Pac-10 so many times it feels like you know what the momentum is like. You know how teams are looking. If they’re up or down. We really have a great opportunity to come out on the road and play great Husky basketball. That’s what we need to do on this road trip.”

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