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Husky Men's Basketball

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February 3, 2010 at 5:25 PM

Pac-10 coaches clueless on Player of the Year candidates

Oregon coach Ernie Kent may not know how to correctly pronounce Quincy Pondexter’s last name, but he knows Pondexter’s game.
During the Pac-10 conference call Tuesday Kent was asked who he thought was the Player of the Year.
“That’s a good question,” he said. “I think that player has probably been as inconsistent as all of us has been. I think early on it was Klay Thompson. I thought (Landry) Fields played very well against us at Stanford obviously.
“I think Poindexter has been playing well and obviously the freshman big kid (at Arizona, Derrick Williams) really well, but Nic (Wise) seems to be controlling that team right now. It’s just hard to say. Everybody has been so up and down.”
When asked the same question, Oregon State coach Craig Robinson said: “I think the best player that we’ve seen so far, whose played the best against us and did the most for his team would be Quincy Pondexter.”
UCLA coach Ben Howland said he’ll likely give his POY vote to the best player on the regular-season Pac-10 champion.
“The MVP of the conference up to this point? Well let’s see, Cal and Arizona are tied so I would have to pick somebody off of one of those two teams. That’s what I would normally do unless someone was having an unbelievable great year. Pondexter is pretty darn good.
“But when look you at it, Nic Wise, I think he’s having a great year right now. Obviously I think (Jerome) Randle is playing really well. I think (Theo) Robertson is really playing well right now. There’s a bunch of candidates.
Howland only remembered one time when he broke from tradition and voted a player POY that wasn’t on the conference-winning team. That player: Arizona State’s Ike Diogu.
— Anyone who balks at the bracket gurus and analysts who suggest the Pac-10 will receive just one NCAA tournament invitation should take a close look at the conference’s top four teams, California, Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA.
Only the Golden Bears (14-7) have a respectable RPI, 24. Arizona (12-9) is next at 53, ASU (15-7) 87 and UCLA (10-11) 89.
Let’s say the Pac-10 winner finishes the second half of the season with a 6-3 record. Cal would look inviting to the Division I basketball committee at 20-10 and maybe the Sun Devils are worthy at 21-10.
But how inviting is an 18-12 Wildcats team or a 16-14 Bruins squad? Not sure if those teams will receive an invitation, which leaves the Pac-10 with just one entry, the conference tournament champion.
— Big week for Wise. On Monday, the Arizona guard won the Pac-10 Player of the Week award and today he accepted an invitation to play in the 58th annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. Rutgers senior center Hamady Ndiaye has also accepted a invitation and we should be hearing from more players over the next few weeks, including perhaps Pondexter.
The tournament is held April 7-10, 2010, in Portsmouth, Va. The “P.I.T” invites 64 of the best college basketball seniors from across the nation to participate in a four-day, twelve-game tournament in front of representatives from every NBA team.
Former Husky Jon Brockman competed last year and finished with tournament-best 16.3 rebounding average. Portland drafted Brockman in the second round (38th overall) before trading him on draft day to Sacramento.
— Arizona State is contemplating reducing the size of Wells Fargo Arena from 13,947 capacity to 10,000.

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