California guard Jerome Randle edges Washington's Quincy Pondexter for Pac-10 player of the year award
Washington's Quincy Pondexter, Isaiah Thomas named to first team All-Pac-10 team; Huskies Venoy Overton, Justin Holiday named to All-Defensive team.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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On a day Quincy Pondexter claimed his record-setting fifth Pac-10 Player of the Week award, he also made history by becoming the only player with at least four weekly awards in a season not to win the conference's Player of the Year honor.
California's Jerome Randle received the award Monday in a vote among league coaches, edging Pondexter, the Huskies senior forward, and Stanford senior Landry Fields.
Randle, a senior guard, helped the Golden Bears to an outright Pac-10 title, Cal's first conference crown in 50 years.
During his weekly radio show Monday, Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said Randle and Pondexter should have shared the award.
"The argument is they (the Bears) won the league, well I think it should have been a co-MVP," Romar said. "If that's the criteria, then Jon Brockman should have won it last year."
Last year Arizona State finished third in the conference, but Sun Devils star James Harden won the honor, edging Brockman, who led the Huskies to their first outright Pac-10 championship.
This season Washington (21-9) finished third in the standings behind Cal and ASU.
"Congratulations to Jerome Randle on having a fantastic season and leading his team to a 21-9 record and securing what will probably be a spot in the NCAA tournament," Pondexter said in a statement released by the school. "I'm real proud of him for turning into the player he is after four years and hopefully he has a long and successful career after this."
Pondexter and sophomore guard Isaiah Thomas were first-team All-Pac-10, which includes 10 players. Junior guard Venoy Overton and forward Justin Holiday were selected to the All-Defensive team.
Last year, Thomas was a second-team All-Pac-10 choice.
"It's a blessing," Thomas said in the release. "I feel like I deserved it based on my play, but big ups to my teammates because without them, I would not have gotten the recognition."
Pondexter had one of the finest regular seasons of any Washington player, scoring 605 points, which fifth-most for a season in school history.
He ranks among the conference leaders in many statistical categories including scoring (2nd, 20.2), rebounds (3rd, 7.8), offensive rebounds (2nd, 3.2), free-throw percentage (5th, 83.3), field-goal percentage (6th, 54.3), defensive rebounds (6th, 4.6) and steals (10th, 1.4).
Pondexter has notched 10 double-doubles and scored 20 or more points on 17 different occasions — including four games with 30-plus points.
Statistically, Fields might have had a better year, but the Cardinal (13-17) finished tied for eighth in the conference standings.
The Stanford forward ranks ninth in the nation and first in the Pac-10 with a 22.2 points per game. He led the conference in 20-point games (20), double-doubles (12) and minutes played (36.1 per game) while ranking second in rebounding (8.7 per game).
Randle's credentials are just as impressive.
Among Pac-10 players, he finished fourth in scoring (18.7), second in assists (4.5), second in three-point field goals per game (2.7), seventh in three-point field-goal percentage (40.4) and first in free-throw percentage (92.7).
Randle posted 20 or more points 14 times this season, including a career-high 39 at Washington State.
• Arizona State's Herb Sendek won the Coach of the Year award; Arizona's Derrick Williams is the Freshman of the Year, Oregon State's Seth Tarver is the Defensive Player of the Year and USC's Nikola Vucevic is the Most Improved Player.
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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