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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Parity rules in Pac-10 conference

    Arizonas Chris Rodgers pressures Stanfords Matt Haryasz during the second half of Arizonas game against Stanford, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2006 at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif. Arizona beat Stanford 76-72. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat)
    Chris Coduto
    Arizona’s Chris Rodgers pressures Stanford’s Matt Haryasz during the second half of Arizona’s game against Stanford, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2006 at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif. Arizona beat Stanford 76-72. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat)

    Men’s hoops notes

    The Pacific 10 Conference turned itself upside down even more after this past weekend of games.

    ASU (10-14, 4-11), tied for last in the Pac-10, beat California (16-7, 10-4) on the road, handing the Golden Bears just their second home loss of the season. No. 19 UCLA (20-6, 10-4), tied with Cal for first place in the conference, suffered a defeat at the hands of sixth place Southern California (16-9, 7-7).

    For the first time since the 1990-91 season, the winner of the conference will have at least four losses and the last place team will have at least four wins, and there are still two weeks left in conference play.

    “”I said at the start of the year that I thought from top to bottom this would be the most competitive the league has been,”” Arizona head coach Lute Olson said via teleconference yesterday afternoon. “”I think that was proven with ‘SC knocking off UCLA even without one of their best players (sophomore guard Gabe Pruitt, USC’s leading scorer).””

    Each team in the conference also reached the 10-win plateau this weekend, marking the third consecutive year the Pac-10 has accomplished the feat. The last time this happened was 1986.

    “”There’s some bias because we’re a West Coast league and the media is asleep when we’re playing. … I don’t think they have a fair perception of what our league is about,”” California head coach Ben Braun said. “”That’s unfortunate, but that’s the reality.””

    The Pac-10 is currently ranked just No. 7 in the RPI, behind a less heralded conference, the Missouri Valley Conference, as well as the Big East, Big Ten, Atlantic Coast, Southeastern, and Big 12 conferences.

    “”I think there are some outstanding teams in our league,”” Braun said. “”I challenge leagues around the country to look at the teams that are presently at the bottom of our league. Those teams are good basketball teams. They may have losing records in our league, but our league is competitive.””

    Week of rest for Arizona and ASU

    The by week couldn’t come at a better time for ASU, as they have injury problems with two of their best players.

    “”They get a chance to get their legs back,”” ASU head coach Rob Evans said. “”We have a number of injuries with (junior guard) Kevin Kruger and (freshman forward) Jeff Pendergraph and right on down the line.””

    Kruger has not practiced full court with the team for the majority of the Pac-10 season, Evans said, instead relying on shooting drills and half-court practice sets.

    “”I think this time of the year, it really helps you to have a day or two off,”” Evans said.

    Pac-10 Player of the Week

    Washington senior guard Brandon Roy was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the second consecutive week. Roy averaged 23 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.5 assists in victories over Oregon and Oregon State.

    Roy, Arizona senior guard Hassan Adams and Stanford senior center Matt Haryasz have all won the award twice this season. Former Oregon State guard Gary Payton holds the record for most awards during a season with nine.

    Pruitt to miss at least another week

    Pruitt will miss at least this week’s home games against the Oregon schools with his knee injury, USC head coach Tim Floyd said.

    “”I think we’ll just continue to review it every week,”” he said. “”I have no idea where it’s heading. It could be the rest of the year. … I know we’re not going to let him come back unless he’s 100 percent.””

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