Party in the Pac-10

By Bryan Drozda — 02/14/2010
Going into Thursday, three games separated first from last in the Pac-10.
California was expected by many to be the best in the conference. It is in first, but it hasn’t been easy. Four seniors are in the starting five, but Cal has struggled to find consistency. Thursday night players assured themselves another day in first with a win over Washington. Washington’s loss at Haas Pavilion keeps the team winless on the road for the season. The players had won four in a row including wins against the two Arizona schools last week. Their senior forward Quincy Pondexter was named Pac-10 player of the week. That was the fourth time Pondexter received the honor this year joining Ed O’Bannon, Gary Payton, Chris Mills and Eddie House as the only players to win the award four times in a season. Arizona made headlines this week. The school imposed sanctions on its basketball program for violations regarding a 2008 offseason AAU tournament. The sanctions include the loss of one scholarship for next year’s season, a reduction in the amount of days coaches are allowed to recruit, a reduction in the amount of visits a potential player can make to the campus, and a reduction in the number of coaches that can recruit off campus for this summer.
Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller was coaching Xavier at the time of the allegations. He has said he knew about this before he chose to accept the job at AU. He believes the University will handle the situation properly. After losing both games in Washington last week, Arizona got back on track by walloping Oregon at the McKale Center. AU is only one game out of first tied with Arizona State at 7-5, and still has a chance to make the NCAA tournament for the twenty-sixth consecutive seasons.
UCLA is 6-5 in the Pac-10 even though it is 11-12 for the season and is only two games behind California for first. Sunday the team takes on USC, which is another team who is 6-5.
Thursday Washington State (5-7) blew a seventeen-point lead and lost to Stanford. Saturday Washington State plays at California.

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