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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Pac-10 Notes

    Pac-10 Notes

    Races for player of the year, top freshman up in the air

    With a week remaining in conference play, it’s anyone’s guess in the race for Pacific 10 Conference Player of the Year.

    UCLA guard Arron Afflalo and Oregon guard Aaron Brooks appear to be the front-runners, but conference coaches also mentioned UCLA guard Darren Collison, Washington State guard Kyle Weaver and USC forward Nick Young among the leaders.

    “”I don’t think it’s defined this year,”” said UA head coach Lute Olson. “”I just think there’s so many good players in this league and so many top-notch guys that should be considered for player of the year.””

    Brooks (18.0 points per game) and Afflalo (17.5) lead the conference in scoring. The argument for Brooks has been that he’s the most clutch player, with Oregon going 12-4 in games decided by eight points or less and Brooks hitting game-winners against Arizona and UCLA. Afflalo gets the nod for being the best player on the conference leader board.

    “”Arron Afflalo’s team is winning the league, and he has been very consistent for them,”” said UW head coach Lorenzo Romar. “”The job Aaron Brooks has done for his team, we’ve played them with him and without him, and he definitely makes a difference. And when you look how many close games they’ve won and who’s made the basket to put them ahead or make them close, Aaron Brooks has been that guy.””

    Things are just as muddled in the race for freshman of the year, Olson said, although he gives the nod to Arizona’s Chase Budinger due to his obvious bias.

    Other strong candidates include California forward Ryan Anderson, Washington center Spencer Hawes, Stanford centers Brook and Robin Lopez and USC forward Taj Gibson, the latter four being the conference’s top quartet of shot blockers. However, one of them won’t even be able to make the five-person All-Pac-10 Freshman Team.

    Wildcats likely to be No. 5 or 6 seed in conference tourney

    Going into the final week of conference play, the Arizona men’s basketball team (9-7 Pac-10) has been assured of being seeded somewhere between No. 4 and No. 6 in next week’s Pac-10 Tournament.

    If Oregon (10-7) beats Oregon State Saturday, the Ducks will clinch the No. 4 spot. Otherwise, Arizona would have the opportunity to move up to No. 4 with a sweep of the Bay Area schools.

    If the Ducks win, then Arizona will be the No. 5 seed by beating Stanford Saturday and No. 6 if the Wildcats fall to the Cardinal, regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s games.

    UCLA has clinched the No. 1 seed. Washington State needs one victory this week to clinch the No. 2 spot, but if the Cougars are swept, then otherwise-No. 3 seed USC becomes the new No. 2.

    Still no Goods for Cardinal

    Stanford guard Anthony Goods remains out for this week’s games against the Arizona schools, Stanford head coach Trent Johnson confirmed yesterday.

    “”He’s doing OK,”” Johnson said. “”He’s not going to play this weekend, but he’s making some progress. His pool workout was pretty good, but we don’t play Arizona State in the water, so he’s not going to be able to play.””

    Goods was injured in Stanford’s Feb. 11 loss at Washington and has not played since. He ranks second on the Cardinal in scoring, averaging 13 points per game.

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