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Husky Men's Basketball

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

March 27, 2012 at 5:39 AM

Aaron Bright shines at Stanford

Had a chance to relay some questions to Stanford sophomore guard Aaron Bright, the former Bellevue High standout who has helped the Cardinal to the NIT semifinals.
As a reserve, he has a team-leading 18.7 scoring average in the NIT.
“In the beginning of the year, I was playing with a really aggressive mindset,” Bright said. “During the year, I found myself trying to tweak some things in my game rather than just stay focused on what was working for me. Toward the end of the season, I just became more focused on playing aggressive.
“Basically, just play my game and work on all the other stuff in the offseason. Just go with what’s worked me. I think that’s helped me here in the postseason as well. But I would say a lot of my improvement has come from just working hard in the offseason.”
Bright played in all 35 games this season and started 24. He moved to the bench in February.
“I feel like I don’t really lose anything coming off the bench because I know what Coach (Johnny) Dawkins wants from me in that role,” he said. “That’s just to be aggressive, and provide a spark on offensive and defensive end. So that’s my role coming off the bench, rather than being unclear about what I need to do.”
Bright has saved his best for the NIT. In second-round 92-88 overtime win over Illinois State, he scored a career-high 29 points on 11-for-13 shooting. He was 6 of 7 on three-pointers.
“That was one of the craziest games I’ve played in,” Bright said. “It was obviously a lot of fun. At the beginning of the game, Jarrett (Mann) got me going a little bit. He drove and I think he got me two threes, two really good looks right off the bat.
“I mean, I didn’t really have to work very hard for my shots, and that got my offensive game going. I think when I shot the last three at the end of the half, it just felt like the basket was the size of the ocean.”
Stanford is also making a return trip to New York. The Cardinal played two games at Madison Square Garden in the NIT Season Tip-Off in November. Stanford beat Oklahoma State 82-67 and lost 69-63 to Syracuse.
NIT LINKS:
— In our advance of the NIT semifinals we take a look at the redemptive qualities of the tournament.
— And here’s the advance stories in the Associated Press, News Tribune, Minneapolis Star Tribune and Pioneer-Press.
— Massachusetts desperately wanted to get Brooklyn-born guard Chaz Williams a chance to return home and the high-scoring guard is one of the marquee players at the NIT.
— Williams, who is listed at 5-9, said his role models include former UW star Nate Robinson.
— Stanford has used the NIT to put a nice spin on what has otherwise been a disappointing season. Here’s a short preview of the game.
— Unfortunately for the NIT, Monday’s press conference was upstaged by some guy named Tim Tebow, who drew about 200 media across town.
AROUND THE PAC-12:
— Without leading scorer Brock Motum who sat out with a sprained ankle, Washington State beat Pittsburgh 67-66 in the CBI finals opener at Beasley Coliseum. The best-of-three series shifts to Pitt on Wednesday. Abe Lodwick led the Cougars with 16 points.
— Oregon has four scholarships available, but expects to sign just two players in the spring. Coach Dana Altman doesn’t believe the Ducks will use all 13 scholarships for next season.
— Oregon was built to win this season and they lose a lot including leading scorer Devoe Joseph, Garrett Sim and Olu Ashaolu. Next season, the Ducks will be led by forward E.J. Singler, center Tony Woods and perhaps Carlos Emory.
— Coach Herb Sendek addresses the mass exodus at Arizona State and told the Arizona Republic: “First and foremost, we own some of the recruiting mistakes that we have made. In our staff meetings, we’ve addressed that and formulated even a more specific (player) profile that makes sense for our program and university. Having said that … there truly is an epidemic in college basketball that we’re never going to be immune from. Transfers right now are part of most every program.”
— Two soon-to-be Arizona Wildcats Brandon Ashley and Grant Jerrett are playing in Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-American Game. Washington recruit Anthony Bennett is also playing on the West team with Ashley and Jerrett.

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